Sweet and Spicy Couscous Salad

Source: May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World
Made: October 10, 2013
Yield: 3-4 servings as a main dish; 6-8 as a side dish
Time to make: 10 minutes assembly + at least 1 hour to chill.

This is a lovely tabouli-style salad and great as a main dish. I intended to include the almond garnish, but at the last minute forgot to add them.  But since I will certainly be making this salad again, that will be a treat for another day.

Sweet & Spicy Couscous Salad

Sweet and Spicy Couscous Salad

Dressing
½ cup currants
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salad
3 cups water
1 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil
1½ cups couscous, preferably whole wheat
1 medium carrot finely chopped
1 cup sliced green or yellow wax beans cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ finely chopped fresh mint or parsley
½ cup tamari-toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)

Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar.  Cover with lid and shake well. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil.  Add 1 Tbsp. oil and couscous.
Immediately remove from heat, cover and lst stand until water is absorbed. (about 5 minutes).
Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.  Chill.

Place the chopped carrots, green beans and bell pepper in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Vegetables should be brightly coloured and still have a crunch.
Rinse under cold water, drain and chill.

When couscous and vegetables are cool, mix the steamed vegetables and also the onion and mint into the couscous. Pour dressing over all and chill at least 30 minutes.

Sprinkle toasted almonds over top just before serving.

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Chunky Granola

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried:June 28, 2017
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
Time needed: 20-25 minutes

This is one of my best granola recipes, enthusiastically endorsed by my 3-year old grandson. Even better, a slight modification will give you “‘nola bars”.

Chunky Granola

Chunky Granola
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or nuts
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup powdered milk
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Spread rolled oats in an ungreased 9” x 13” pan.
Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.

Combine the honey, oil and vanilla.
Add to dry mixture and stir until thoroughly coated.
Bake 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes until uniformly golden. Do not over bake.
Let cool in pan undisturbed. Then break into chunks.

To make granola bars:
Add one beaten egg and 1/3 cup milk to honey, oil, vanilla mixture before combining with dry ingredients.
Press mixture firmly into two well-greased 10” x 15” baking sheets.
Bake at suggested temperature until nicely browned.
Cut immediately into bars.
Remove from pans when cool.

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Made: September 27, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Cook garbanzo beans

This is a wonderful and elegant dish!  The ingredient list is very long and it takes some fancy footwork to put it together, but it is definitely worth the effort.  As is often the case with a skillet dish, most of the work takes place before you start heating the pan.  I soon found the simplest thing to do was to prepare several sub-sections of the recipe, put each in a container, then use each container as needed.  So by the time I began heating the oil this is what I had on my counter:

Beans: whether you cook your own or open a can, drain and set aside
Vegetables: put chopped and sliced onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms all in a bowl
Seasoning: a small bowl held the dillweed, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, mashed garlic and horseradish
Stock and white wine: mixed together in a large mug
Milk & egg beaten together
Tomato sauce: with dry milk, brown sugar, dry mustard and vinegar
Finally, in separate containers, measured amounts of water and couscous

Sweet & Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights
Oil for sautéing
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1-2 tsp. dillweed
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. parsley
1-2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 cups seasoned stock
½ to 1 cup white wine
2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
5 cups cooked couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots.  Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add dillweed, bay leaf, parsley, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper and ½ of the dry mustard.
Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is a good time to begin heating water in bottom of a double boiler.

After the vegetables and seasonings have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the seasoned stock and white wine. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Heat the milk egg mixture in the top of the double boiler.  As it cooks, add the dry milk, brown sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and the remaining half of the dry mustard, whisking in each addition. Continue stirring frequently as sauce thickens.

Bring measured water to a boil.
When hot, add couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

Finally, add garbanzo beans to the simmering vegetables.
This bean-vegetable mix should have the consistency of a thick soup. If necessary, thicken with cornstarch.

To serve: place some couscous on each plate.
Top with bean-vegetable mixture.
Pour sauce over all.
Enjoy the compliments.

Banana Oats

Source: Whole Foods for the Whole Family
Date tried: December 12, 2012
Yield: 2 servings
Time needed: 15 minutes

This recipe is subtitled “A Perfect Baby Cereal” and that is a pretty good description. The contributor tells us it was her baby’s first cereal and is still his favorite four years later. She just doesn’t grind the oats as finely.

Cooking the oats in milk instead of water means no milk has to be added at the table. So the cereal is “thick enough to stay on an upside-down spoon” as baby learns to feed herself. The banana also supplies all the sweetening needed. So no starting baby on a sugar addiction.

And grown-ups can enjoy the cereal as well. It tastes good. For adults and older children, just don’t grind the oats as finely—or even at all.

Banana Oats

Banana oats
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup milk
½ ripe banana
½ cup milk

Grind rolled oats in a blender or processor until very fine.
Gradually stir the 1 cup cold milk into the oats, then pour into a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer.
Simmer for four minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered another five minutes.
Meanwhile, blend the banana with the other ½ cup of milk until frothy.
Stir into the cooked oats and serve.

A Cold Morning for Hot Peanut Cereal

Source: : Recipes for a Small Planet
Date tried: October 2, 2012
Yield: 2 servings
Time needed: 15-20 minutes

This is one of my favorite breakfast porridges and I don’t wait for a cold morning to make it. I prefer the cracked wheat to the whole wheat flour, but the flour is good if you prefer a very creamy texture. For an interesting taste variation, use buckwheat flour instead of whole wheat flour. Delicious!

A Cold Morning for Hot Peanut Cereal

A Cold Morning for Hot Peanut Cereal
2 ½ cups water
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup whole wheat flour or cracked wheat (or a blend of both)
¾ cup raw peanut meal
1 ½ tsp. soy grits
¼ cup raisins
1-2 Tbsp. honey
½ cup milk

Stir salt, flour and/or cracked wheat, peanut meal and soy grits into cold water.
Heat porridge, stirring constantly to keep texture smooth and free of lumps.
As soon as mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low.
Add raisins and honey and let cook over low heat until mixture thickens (10-15 minutes)
Serve with milk.

Baking Mix Cornbread

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried: June 2, 2013
Yield: 8 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

The base for this quick and easy cornbread is a recipe called  Master Baking Mix, but  feel free to use any baking mix, homemade or commercial. 

Today I used all the options: bran and hot chili pepper added to the mix, chopped pepper added to the liquid ingredients and a topping of shredded cheese and ground, roasted sesame seeds.

You might prefer to use a plainer version as a base for gravy, creamed chicken or mushroom sauce. Or use the cornbread in place of regular sliced bread or for cornbread stuffing.

Baking Mix Cornbread

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