Last week I volunteered at a kids day camp with Wilderness Youth Project. I spent 5 days at Goleta Beach, exploring the beach and slough with 12 6-9 year-olds! It was great to spend so much consistent time with the kids and really see them get more comfortable in the water and with each other, and I think I got just as much out of it as they did! But boy, was I wiped out by the end of the week!
On Friday we went to a hastily-planned potluck to watch the Tour de France, so I needed to throw together a dish quickly. Because we had a few cucumbers, I quickly sliced them and then coated them with a lemon juice/olive oil/salt mixture – light and refreshing!
Then on to the main course – I found this recipe for “Saffron, Zucchini and Herb Couscous” from the Food Network that seemed simple enough, but with subtle additions to make it interesting. I added swiss chard and garbanzo beans (for a little protein), which made it more filling but not heavy by any means! Like most recipes, I think other vegetables could be easily substituted, and if you don’t have saffron on hand, you could leave it out. I really liked the basil and parsley addition, and I thought the couscous was even better the next day after the flavors had time to meld!
Zucchini-Chard Couscous with Herbs
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 zucchini, large dice
1 bunch chard, chopped into ribbons
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
1 cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup chopped parsley leaves
Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan, and turn off the head. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and saffron threads and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chard and cover with a lid until wilted. Turn off heat. Bring the stock just back to a boil. Place the couscous in a large bowl and add the garbanzo beans. Pour the hot stock over them. Cover the bowl tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and chard, basil and parsley. Toss with a fork and serve warm or at room temperature.
(original recipe is here)