Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vegetable Couscous Pilaf with Sauteed Baby Vegetables

After a very long hiatus, I am back and ready to cook up a storm! Below is one of my new favorite, tasty, original recipes.

Vegetable Couscous Pilaf with Sauteed Baby Vegetables

* Prep Time: 20 minutes
* Cook Time: 40 minutes

 * Ingredients (for couscous):
  • 1 tablespoon soy butter*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 1/3rd of red onion - chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms - chopped
  • 1/3rd cup of peas*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives - chopped
  • 1 baby zucchini - chopped
  • 2 baby carrots - chopped
  • 2 baby squash - chopped (yellow or green)
  • dash of onion powder
  • dash of thyme
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of garlic salt
  • several dashes of black pepper
  • several dashes of sea salt
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of parsley
  • dash of caraway
  • dash of paparika
  • dash of oregano (ground)
  • dash of oregano (leaves)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (add more if needed when cooking)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of white wine
  • 1 package of couscous
  • top with soy parmesan (optional)*
* Ingredients (for sauteed baby vegetables):
  • 1/2-1 cup of water
  • several baby carrots
  • several baby zucchini
  • several baby squash (green and yellow)
  • several baby red potatoes
  • several small mushrooms (keep steams on)
  • several pieces of asparagus
  • 1/3 of red onion - sliced into thin, long pieces
  • several green beans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • dash of garlic salt
  • dash of onion powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of oregano (leaves)
  • dash of thyme
  • dash of rosemary
  • dash of parsley
  • several dashes of black pepper
  • several dashes of sea salt

* Recipe:
  1. Begin with couscous. Place soy butter and olive oil in medium size pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, wait until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add all vegetables and spices to pot with onions and garlic, cook until tender (5-8 minutes).
  3. Insert couscous, vegetable stock, and white wine. Keep adding more stock if couscous does not become soft over time. Let cook over medium heat with lid on until couscous is soft (10-15 minutes). Make sure the vegetables and couscous are well mixed together.
  4. While couscous is cooking, start on the baby vegetables. Using a large pan, add all baby vegetables, asparagus, green beans (optional), red onion, mushrooms, and water (in small increments). Cover and let steam. Keep checking and adding more water as the vegetables soak it in. Once tender, you are done with this step (5-7 minutes).
  5. Keep stirring that couscous while you are working on the baby vegetables so it does not stick to the pot.
  6. Add the olive oil, chives, and spices to the pan with baby vegetables. Let them saute for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Once couscous is done, place on plate. Top with the sauteed baby vegetables.
  8. Finish with several dashes of soy parmesan (optional).
* Notes: For soy butter, I use the vegan Earth Balance. The peas I used were frozen, feel free to use fresh ones. The best soy parmesan brand I have come across is Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Topping.

I have a many more recipes to add, just do not have time now. More soon, promise!

Quick review: Vegan foodies like myself often are in despair over a good vegan cheese. A long time ago, I decided it simply does not exist. In the last couple months, this local Chicago nut cheese company has proved my vegan cheese woes wrong. Check out Ste Martaen Vegan Cheese. Currently, one can only buy it at Delicious Cafe, located in North Center on 3827 N. Lincoln Ave. Though, rumor has it, they will be selling Ste Martaen at the new, giant Whole Foods in Chicago soon.
This colby nut cheese has become a favorite of mine to use for grilled cheese sandwiches.

Also, check out their smoked gouda cheese and try out this marinated tofu sandwich recipe. Delish!

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