Monday, November 3, 2014

Couscous and Vegetable Mixup

I had no clue what to make for dinner tonight; I lost my mojo for planning meals a month out quite a long time ago. I keep telling myself that I need to get back to it, yet I don’t. The more I started thinking about it, I wanted couscous, but as my meal, not a side. I could envision couscous mixed with all the fresh veggies in my refrigerator and maybe some protein. So as I went about my day, I translated my desire into an idea. I think that it turned out great, a nice one-dish meal (even if it took 3 pots to make).  I am terrible at naming things; so hopefully by the time I go to post this I’ll have come up with something.

This did make a lot, but I am going to type it up as I made it, it can always be reduced at another time. I suggest that you prep everything ahead of time; it will make sure everything cooks evenly. I can easily see the chicken being replaced with pork, tofu or being omitted entirely. The same goes for the chicken broth, substitute vegetable or mushroom broth to make this an easy vegan meal. (this is why I have tagged it with both poultry and vegan)

4 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups broccoli, cut into tiny florets
1 red sweet pepper
1 yellow sweet pepper
½ carrot, peeled and diced small
3 cup baby portabella mushrooms, diced
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5# chicken tenderloins, sliced and diced
1-Tablespoon Garam Masala
3 cups couscous
4 cups chicken broth
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan (one that is going to be big enough to hold everything in the end). Add onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet peppers, carrot and mushrooms. Mix well and cover, and permit to cook, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes or until the carrots are tender but not mushy. Add the corn and beans and mix well to warm. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, add 1T olive oil to another pan over high heat, add couscous and stir to toast. After about a minute, add the chicken broth and cover. When the broth comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. Keep it covered until it is needed.

In your 3rd pan, preferably a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil until shiny over high heat. Add the diced chicken and stir so it doesn’t stick. You can cover it for a few minutes, as it starts to near being completely cooked, add the 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala and mix it well. Finish cooking the chicken.

Add the chicken to the vegetable mixture and stir. Fluff the couscous and begin adding 1/3 of it at a time to the vegetable/chicken mixture about, repeat until all the couscous is mixed in. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve. (I added a little more Garam Masala because I love the flavor and spice.)

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