My routine before cooking something new is to read and reread the recipe to get acquainted with the steps. As I was looking over tonight's recipe I couldn't help but wonder why I selected it because on review it didn't look too promising. I should know by now to trust my first impression!
This meal was a breeze to put together, and after some of the complicated recipes I've been making I really appreciated that. I liked that the recipe gave options on what grain and bean to use. Tonight I chose bulgur and garbanzo beans. It didn't specify a cheese by name so I used what I had on hand which was shredded Parmesan.
The pilaf was delicious. The bulgar had a nice creamy texture that was a perfect bed for the nutty garbanzos. The Parmesan added a nice salty kick, and the parsley really perked up the pilaf with it's fresh taste -- delicious! I'm pretty sure Paul loved it since he wolfed down his dinner, and then went for seconds. I served a green salad on the side with my homemade Ranch dressing (recipe found here).
Quick Bean and Vegetable Couscous or Bulgur Pilaf
The New Whole Grains Cookbook
Yield: Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 14 oz can diced canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
One 15 oz can black beans, garbanzos, or white beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup whole wheat couscous or bulgur
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 oz aged cheese, shredded
Heat the olive oil in a 4 quart saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the carrot and onion and saute over medium heat until soft and golden, the longer the better. Add the garlic, tomatoes, pepper, salt, and beans. Saute, stirring gently, until everything is heated through. Add the stock or water, push the veggies to the sides, and bring the liquids to a full boil. Turn off the heat, add the couscous, stir once quickly, and cover tightly. (If using bulgur, return to a full boil, cover tightly, simmer for 10 minutes, then take off the heat.)
Let the post stand, covered, at room temperature for 10 minutes to absorb the liquids and flavors. Add the parsley, fluff with a fork, and serve warm, topped with the cheese.
Tomorrow night: New Potato and Grilled Pepper Pizza