“I don’t eat anything green.” Enter my husband’s lifelong food mantra. But let’s be real here, that’s just the trailer. The full-length feature sounds more like this:
“I don’t eat anything green [or anything with roots, leaves, or stems. Or any grain that isn’t quintessentially American. Or anything that once had fins. Or onions. Never, ever onions.]”
Challenge accepted. He will be eating his words. Literally. He will come to know the glory of Brussels sprouts, quinoa, salmon and onions, yes, even onions.
The first time I heard the mantra, we were dating. And while at heart I am a meat-and-potatoes-midwest-kind-of-girl, I deeply love new foods, refreshing foods, and foods that make your body feel happy. I was determined to show him a world of super tasty, full-of-flavor foods. And yes, that largely included the restricted list.
I was sure I could create luscious flavors–that wasn’t the problem. The trick was getting him over the fear of foods that he has only known to be utterly tasteless and soggy (throwin’ it back to the 90’s and boiling all of your vegetables, am I right?). But what’s greater than fear? Love.
He was a guy trying to marry the girl he loved–a girl he loved too much to turn down her cooking. He had to be brave. And y’all… the rest is history. My man is always, always requesting Brussels sprouts, salad, salmon, quinoa patties and the like. I’ll admit we’re still working on the onions. But he knows they’re in his food and he doesn’t complain. I’ll take it.
Now, this cauliflower couscous? Weird grain? Check. Green stuff? Check. Vegetable? Check. Onions? Check. And the verdict? He loved it. I’m telling you, it’s all about creating real flavor and good texture. Bring on the couscous!
Hellooo beauties! These itty bitty, pearl-looking spheres are divine. They cook up to be light as pillows and flavor trappers. They go by the name Israeli couscous or pearl couscous–whichever you prefer. I tend to cook couscous, quinoa, and the like in low-sodium broth as opposed to water, especially if I know I’m going to want a little extra flavor in my dish–which is what I opted for in this recipe.
This recipe comes together so easily and ends up being such a refreshing yet comforting dish. Roasted vegetables are, without a doubt, my favorite way to eat all of those things with stems and roots. Effortless and the utmost flavor. This vegetable thing isn’t so bad.
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (water for vegetarian option)
1 1/4 cup Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 shallot, minced
Pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped prunes (raisins or chopped dates)
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºf
Toss cauliflower with one tablespoon of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until just before tender, about fifteen minutes.
Using a two quart saucepan, bring low-sodium chicken broth to a boil. Once at a full boil, add the couscous, give it a quick stir and reduce the heat to medium. Bring back up to a simmer, and allow to simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring often. You’ll see when it’s ready because the liquid will have absorbed and you’ll be left with beautiful, pillowy, yet firm pearl couscous. Drain any liquid from the couscous, rinse under cold water and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil.
Add two teaspoons of olive oil to a 10″ sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallot, cook for one minute. Add the pre-roasted cauliflower and finish in pan, about three minutes. Add cinnamon and prunes; cook for two more minutes. Add couscous and give a quick mix. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and allow to cook for one more minute. Remove from heat, add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe was adapted from Food Network.