One Flew Over the Couscous Nest

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 is to eat more vegetables. The trouble is, I hate eating most vegetables and would much rather tuck into a nice frozen pizza. I’ve realized that the only way to actually stick to this resolution is to find ways of making full, quick meals out the few vegetables I do like, instead of peeling a carrot, eating it raw, and subsequently rewarding myself with a deep-fried something or other.

This resolution is not unprovoked. Over the past fourteen months, I’ve been ill at least seven times. Despite being almost overly obsessed with hand washing, the germs seem to find me and make themselves a comfy home. After the most recent bout of fevers and aches made me miss some Christmas festivities, I realized I needed to make some changes to give my immune system a much-needed boost.

However, there is a danger to eliminating ‘junk food’ completely. As was the case when Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was banned in many schools due to its controversial nature, total lack of exposure simply made people more curious as to its subject matter. As is the case with crash diets, when people try to limit themselves to the pure things, they end up either miserably deprived or lapsing to the other extreme. It is important to read ‘controversial’ books like Kesey’s to be informed, aware, and balanced. So, in the spirit of a well-balanced resolution, after a healthy lunch of couscous stuffed peppers, I think I’ll treat myself to a chocolaty afternoon snack. Happy New Year, everyone!

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10 Minute Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

1/4 cup couscous

1/4 cup chicken broth (alternatively vegetable broth or water to keep the dish vegetarian)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

Salt to taste

2 bell peppers (color of your choice)

Simple Hummus Filling

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tsp tahini

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove

Generous pinch of salt

Up to 1/4 cup olive oil

Instruction:

1. Bring chicken broth, cumin, and coriander to boil. Add couscous, turn off heat, cover, and let sit until liquid has been absorbed, about ten minutes. Fluff with fork.

2. In the meantime, cut top off, remove seeds and pith from pepper. Depending on how big you want your ‘nest,’ slice rings from top of pepper and save for dipping garnish.

3. In food processor, pulse chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt. Gradually add olive oil. Combine to desired smoothness; I left the hummus chunky to give the salad texture, but the flavors combine nicely when blended until smooth.

4. Combine couscous and hummus. If mixture needs moisture, add a bit more olive oil. Spoon into pepper cup and serve with extra pepper slice, toasted bread, or on its own.

Enjoy couscous-stuffed peppers with Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and check in at http://warandpeach.com for future recipes and book reviews!

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