Here's a favorite, speedy side dish. We ate it alongside bean burritos (cheese, onions, peppers, beans) that can easily be put together while waiting for the microwave to beep.
Please either ignore or be amused by my hungry child's voice in the background. She's saying "Oooo" as I stir in the vegetables and squeezes in a few hiccups. But you know what? She's right where I want her to be. I want her to learn to love cooking healthy foods, too.
I made this for a lunch with friends last week, and since one of them called for the recipe yesterday, I thought I'd better make up the recipe and show the picture. The beauty of salads sometimes is that you can through anything into it and make it work. Moreover, it's very forgiving provided you have a great dressing. Also, I've loved having banana peppers on my patio because I can just cut the hot ones and add them to the salad instead of using crushed red pepper, which feels so "coarse" in what is mostly a soft and simple salad.
Recipe for Cucumber Couscous Salad
1 cup cooked whole wheat couscous
1 small-to-medium cucumber, thinly sliced (like on a mandolin)
2 banana peppers, sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced (Green onions may work well, too.)
1 tomato diced
2 tablespoons dehydrated parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint (or about 10 large leaves)
1/2 teaspoon herbed salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Drizzle olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
Combine ingredients in serving bowl. Stir carefully. Serve immediately or chill to marinate flavors
The week was winding to a close. We had been having a blast. BUT I was doing my best to keep Nora on her schedule (which meant getting up at 0530 in Denver, 0730 our time, while keeping up with Paul, Brent, and Tim and their late hours. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just pointing out that it is a bit of a challenge remembering all the events of the evening when we dined here.
Paul's folks had a major issue with their kitchen earlier this year. Their upstairs water heater flooded their kitchen and ruined--among other things--years of collected recipes. You can see all the marked pages in the cookbooks that the insurance company replaced. I also benefited because we learned one of the cookbooks The Occasional Vegetarian was out of print. Kathleen graciously sent me a used copy when she found a source. I'm happy my stomach is more settled because I've already read it cover-to-cover.
This week, I will feature a series of posts, the inspirations of which came from the fascinating cookbook, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. It is more than just a list of recipes. The book also highlights little known facts, dispels myths, and makes specific grocery list recommendations. Perhaps after I highlight some fabulous experiences with the book, you will want to acquire one of your own.
I really had a hard time finding a simple and appealing recipe for tabouleh. I finally found an excellent one. I served this as a series of "dips" for a buffet meal to a group of 20. People asked for the recipe when it was over and I overheard one educated individual say "That green stuff is good, too." Tabouleh and a hommus side went well with warm un-pocketed pita bread. I noticed a good number of people making sandwiches out of it.