Mediterranean Couscous: Simple but Flavorful 30-minute Recipe

Happy Thursday!

Hands in the air if you’re doing a lot more cooking than usual?

You can’t see my hand, but it’s in the air. Typically, my husband cooks or we go out. I cook very rarely because I’m just not good in the kitchen unless I’m baking. I don’t know what it is, but I suspect it has everything to do with my innate in ability to multitask. I’m a goal-oriented person, but I cross things off my list one at a time. You will rarely find me doing more than one thing at a time, and that’s because I like to place all my focus in one area and give it my all rather than spread it around to too many things at once. You might say I don’t half-ass anything I enjoy doing.

That said, baking is my jam. Seriously. I bake very well. Sometimes, I even enjoy it.

Cooking? Too many things going on at one time. This ingredient needs this, and that one needs this, and this meat needs this and this vegetable needs that. I can’t handle all of that at one time. Cooking times, different readiness factors, and trying to coordinate too many things cooked and ready at the same time is beyond my level of comprehension.

To be honest, though, I do have a small handful of dishes at which I excel when I’m in the kitchen. They’re the simplest of simple dishes. Honestly, most of them don’t even require any meat or chicken or poultry. I’m not a vegetarian, but I also don’t need meat, chicken, or fish at every meal, either. I love all of them, but I’m not mad about a dinner that doesn’t include them, if that makes sense. And, if I’m cooking, the fewer ingredients and dishes, the better.

Today, I’m sharing our favorite ‘new’ dish. It’s a recipe we tried a few months ago and loved, and it’s one I can whip up in under half an hour, and everyone adores it. It has so much flavor, so many healthy ingredients, and it’s so simple.

couscous

Mediterranean Couscous

Ingredients:

  • Couscous
  • Zucchini
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Thyme
  • Scallions
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Chicken stock
  • S&P
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Feta cheese

Prep

Before you do anything else, go ahead and prep what you need. This is so helpful to me because it allows me to free up my hands and my time while I’m working on other aspects of the dish.

  1. Slice your entire zucchini into thin slices or small chunks (I prefer to quarter mine and then chop it into small chunks, but my husband prefers his sliced).
  2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half (I probably use 12-15 tomatoes)
  3. Remove the root end from your scallions and discard. Slice scallions into small pieces, but do separate the white pieces from the green top pieces – keep them separate.
  4. Prep thyme by chopping it into tiny, tiny pieces (I’m sure there is a proper term for that, but I don’t know it, nor do I care to look it up).
  5. Cut lemon in half, and then half one of your halves. You should end up with three pieces. A half and two quarters.
  6. Chop a whole (large) clove of garlic into small pieces

Prep Your Veggies

The first thing you’ll do is start your veggies in the oven.

dinner

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line baking pan with foil or parchment paper
  3. Place all zucchini and tomatoes on the pan
  4. Season veggies with half the thyme
  5. Drizzle EVOO over veggies
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Place baking sheet in the oven for approximately 20 minutes

Couscous

Forgive me for not being big on measuring things, but I promise it will work out for you.

  1. Add a tablespoon of butter, your garlic, and your scallion WHITES to a pot and bring the heat to high. Mix occasionally while the butter melts, and wait for the garlic and onions to become fragrant. Add couscous – dry – along with the remaining thyme, to the mix. This helps you brown the couscous. Stir every minute or so while the couscous browns. This entire process should take fewer than five minutes.
  2. Add a splash of chicken stock.
  3. Cover the couscous with water. I don’t measure any couscous or water. I just add until it looks like enough, but you are always welcome to follow the instructions on the couscous package if you are more comfortable with that level of cooking.
  4. Wait for the couscous to come to a boil before you turn down the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes. If there is excess liquid, drain it and return the mixture to your pot.

Final Steps

Just a few more minutes until you get to enjoy this decadence.

  1. Remove veggies from oven, and add half of them to the pot with the couscous that’s finished cooking.
  2. Add a generous helping of feta cheese to the couscous mixture, add more salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze juice from your lemon half into the mixture.
  3. Mix well until most of the cheese is melted.
  4. Divide couscous into bowls, garnish with the remainder of the roasted veggies, more feta cheese, and top with the green scallion slices. Add a slice of your remaining lemon to the side of your couscous for décor – or to squeeze more juice atop your final serving.

My husband and I prefer our Mediterranean couscous with a glass of our favorite Sangiovese to bring out the flavor, but I imagine any dry red or white would have the same delicious effect.

Enjoy! And, don’t forget to let me know if you try it!

Recipe Wednesday: Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps in Under 20 Minutes

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Happy Wednesday, loves!

I don’t know about you, but my husband and I are pretty good about what we put into our bodies. Healthy food is priority in our home, but we don’t have much time. I swear, sometimes I’m not even sure how we function with all we have to do, but we get it done. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my inbox has to do with how we manage to eat well without much time to cook.

Honestly, we cheat the system a bit. We try to make recipes that are healthy but that take much time. I thought I might start sharing those with y’all. One, so you can also learn how to spend a lot less time in the kitchen as well as a lot less time feeling guilty about what you’re eating. Two, to inspire and motivate us to find and create new healthy, fast, and simple recipes to try. It’s a win-win.

I’m starting Recipe Wednesday with our typical Monday night dinner. Mondays are our latest night of the week. Addison – our 9-year-old – has gymnastics and advanced tumbling classes on Monday nights. Her last class doesn’t end until 7:30 and the drive home takes approximately 1 hour.

We usually take turns taking her while the other stays home and does bedtime and bath time with Ava and the twins, and whoever is home makes something fast and easy. And this is legit the fastest and easiest thing we make….so it almost always falls on a Monday.

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

All you need is a premixed Caesar salad, boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins, and some whole wheat wraps.

We like to bake the chicken with just a little salt and pepper on it until it’s done. We chop the bagged salad, put it into a bowl with a tiny bit of fresh parmesan and a small amount of low-fat Caesar salad dressing, and then we cut and mix the chicken and throw it in.

Mix it up, place it on a whole wheat wrap, wrap it up, and enjoy!

It’s flavorful, simple, and not so bad for you. And it’s one of our favorite things to eat when we have zero time. We love Publix chicken tenderloins (random and weird, but I have this thing where I cannot stomach the thought of eating “fat” chicken. Seriously, I cannot buy whole chicken breasts to cook. It has to be the tenderloins or the really skinny pieces of the breast that have been cut like they’re flat). They take about 20 minutes to bake. We usually stick them in the oven while we’re upstairs putting the twins to bed, and then mix up the salad and the chicken when we come downstairs.

It takes so little time, but dinner is ready when the other gets home with Addison. It keeps life quick, and it allows for easy clean-up and not such a late night!

Enjoy! If you make it, I want to hear how much you love it and/or how you’ve modified