Friday, May 20, 2011

Open Sesame Couscous

I love couscous: it's versatile, easy, and super quick, which makes it especially nice during the warmer months, when you don't want to steam up the kitchen too much. The warm weather has yet to reach us here in New England (we're currently on the eighth in a series of cool, rainy days), but this one-dish meal arose from one of those all-too-familiar situations when both time and supplies are in limited supply. The sesame seeds added a nice touch to an otherwise pretty standard empty larder, "make a virtue of necessity" dinner; in fact, this
turned out so well that it deserves to make regular appearances. I happened to have smoked tofu on hand, but you could subsititute plain, or use cubed tempeh, or just leave it out altogether; the best part is that the whole thing comes together really quickly, so whether you want it for a main dish or alongside something else, you'll be out of the kitchen in about fifteen minutes. Open sesame, doc!

Open Sesame Couscous
~ 1-2 tbsp. vegan margarine (or oil; I just like the "butteriness" of EB here)
~ 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
~ 1 small onion, diced
~ 2 stalks celery, diced
~ 1 carrot, diced
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, dill, marjoram
~ A few grinds black pepper
~ 6 scallions, sliced thinly
~ 8 oz. smoked tofu, cubed
~ 1 cup couscous
~ 2 cups vegetable broth

~ In a saucepan, melt the margarine over medium-high heat, and stir in the sesame seeds. Cook for about two minutes, until they turn a pale golden color, and start to give off a yummy aroma (don't let them brown!).
~ Add the onions, celery, carrots, and dry seasonings; cook about 5 minutes, until vegetables are getting soft.
~ Add the scallions, tofu, and the couscous; stir to combine.
~ Raise the heat to high, pour in the vegetable broth, and bring just to a boil.
~ Cover the pot, remove from heat, and allow to stand 5-7 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

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