Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Edamame

We're back! Live! Well, almost live. But real-time recipes, no more rewinds.

Ok, not even real-time recipes, considering I took these pictures on Christmas. Yep, it's taken me that long to post it. Not because we didn't love it. We did! It's a recipe tasty enough for the grand poo-bah of dinners, aka: Christmas. And I've even made it a few times since then. My pictures are just old. What can I say, it's been a hectic half year and I've been a little backed-up in recipe posting/sharing. Forgive me for not offering you this tasty dish sooner!

Couple things about the recipe... it's delicious. Second, it's super fast and great for weeknight meals. Plus, thinking back to Christmas, because it's so fast and easy, it really helped me with getting everything ready on time, without slaving away longer than necessary in the kitchen. So if you have a big party to prepare for, this recipe could be a huge help to you.

For Christmas, I served the Couscous with an appetizer of Happy Hour Mushrooms, side dishes of green beans and bran muffins, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. De-licious!

Since I actually make this recipe quite often, there are some substitutions I regularly use. In the original recipe, it calls for two things we don't like: green onions and a lot of feta cheese. The green onions are very overpowering, and the dish tastes great without them (one less thing to buy!). We also omitted the feta, and substituted grated parmesan in the Christmas batch. Normally, I like feta (just not when it's over used), and would use half the amount they call for. But during the Christmas season, I was pregnant and a little wary of feta (probably a silly paranoia). The parmesan tasted great though, so it's a nice alternative to try off and on. Or to just use what you have in your fridge.

This dish is a fun mix of flavors and textures, and again, fast and delicious for any occasion!

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Edamame
from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3)
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used 1 tablespoon dried basil)
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups coarsely chopped green onions (I omit this)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (Substitute 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, or only use 1/2 cup feta)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add edamame, red pepper, and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup water, basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in onions and feta; toss well.

Can't get enough couscous, try these:
- South of the Border Couscous Salad, from Albion Cooks
- Curried Couscous, from The Amateur Gourmet
- Spinach Couscous Salad, from Cookbook Catchall
- Red Lentil Soup with Couscous, from Almost Turkish Recipes

Guten appetit!

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