Moroccan Couscous with Saffron.

I was so excited when my sister bought me Alicia’s Silverstone’s The Kind Diet recipe book. It was for my birthday and I was just beginning to end nursing my second child, completing my degree at University, and desiring to shed the last few pounds I had gained with my son. I remember during that summer, five years ago, I was cooking up a mighty storm. If we had new comers move into our complex, guaranteed they were going to have me knocking on their door with a vegan dessert of some sort. It was incredibly fun having a resource I could go to and know whether it be a meal, a snack, or a dessert, The Kind Diet would provide a smooth sailing for a great dish.  I love cook books and being able to fold, highlight, and scribble my own thoughts on the pages. I am not a technical person, far from it. I like to be able to take my books with me and sift through countless recipes and take notes on loose pieces of paper of the next meal I will embark upon. This particular recipe is a cozy go to. It makes quite a bit, so I tend to eat it for dinner and for lunch a couple of times in a row, as well as take it to work in hopes someone will enjoy it too.

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Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

Inspired by: The Kind Diet

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled butternut squash cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

2 cups yellow onion, large dice

1 ½ cups carrots, cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

1 ½ cups zucchini, cut into ¾ inch cubes

2 TBSP avocado oil

Fine Sea Salt

1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 TBSP Earth Balance butter

¼ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp saffron threads

1 ½ cups whole wheat couscous

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

How To Play:

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

While vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, remaining ½ tsp pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl (I used a large saucepan), and add the couscous. Bring the broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork and serve.

 

Enjoy.

 

The Return of the Caesar Salad…


Caesar salad and I go way back. It was my favorite salad when I was young, older and oldest. I remember in high school, my sister and I would go to The Keg once a week.  It was a tradition.  I would always order their Caesar salad. My mom makes a really good Caesar.  In University days, it became a ritual for my girlfriends and I to meet once a month, typically the 24th, to have our monthly fondue and wine party. I would bring my guitar to play them my newest songs and my homemade Caesar salad.  Forward to a few years later, homemade spicy chicken Caesar salads has become one of Sean’s favorite meals.  It was a weekly thing, until I fell pregnant with 3. Pregnancy does weird things like that. Even after his birth, Caesar salad was definitely not on my “what to eat lists”, until last night…Alicia Silverstone, in her Kind Diet book, says, “this is the best Caesar salad ever, on the planet. Period.” My first thought was, “Well, you haven’t tried my mom’s…” But, I don’t think she ever would, because my mom is not a vegan.  I thought I would put this wonder salad to the test…the results…it is pretty-very-excellent. I made a couple of changes, because Sean is not a Dijon mustard fan, so didn’t put in as much that is called for, plus, added Parmesan cheese.  I made it for Sean and the kids, thinking I wouldn’t have any, but I did. Has the Caesar Salad returned to my life? This one just may have.

Caesar Salad

(Inspired by The Kind Diet)
Ingredients:

Croutons
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 slices of whole wheat sourdough bread, or a baguette, sliced into cubes (1 1/2 cups)
Olive oil

Dressing
2 tbsp roasted almonds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Tahini
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil (or grapeseed)

romaine lettuce,torn into bite-size pieces
grated Parmesan cheese

How To Play:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stir together the rosemary, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil. Toss well to distribute the oil. Sprinkle the herb mixture over the bread cubes and toss again. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the croutons are dry and lightly toasted. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine the toasted almonds, garlic, mustard, soy sauce, tahini, lemon juice, oil, and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor; process until smooth and well blended. (I stirred in about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, afterwards).
To serve, toss the lettuce and croutons together in a serving bowl. Add the dressing, and toss to coat. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese over the salad and serve right away.

Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad

This is for the Sean’s:

Ingredients:
Caesar Salad Recipe
Chicken boneless, skinless, chicken breast, or thighs
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Grapeseed oil

How To Play:
Cook chicken thoroughly in grapeseed oil. Once it is completely cooked, douse it with hot sauce until it is very well coated. Fry the chicken for 2 more minutes, on a high heat, until the hot sauce has burned off and is no longer runny, but well cooked into the chicken. Place onto the Caesar Salad and serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

Enjoy.