There are some days that just don’t blend. My memory is like a treasure trove of places and people and things, those that help me conjure up each post; each memory, while different in feel, has a similar undercurrent: individuality and food. The year was 1994. My parent’s best friends owned a a local pharmacy in our neighborhood, one that not only was thriving, but one that sold the most INCREDIBLE snacks and treats to date: salty chips (in every damn flavor) and vintage candies and sodas galore. I remember quite vividly sitting behind the counter on one of those dark-green square crates used for carrying items in bulk, and gawking at the salty section of the store, while Madonna blasted on the radio. The other kids around always reached for the candy, but I went for the salty snacks…. sometimes society goes left, but you just have to go right. Being your own individual helps spur your own individual tastes, ones that best work with and for you.
In light of my recent pregnancy, my anti-diet “diet”, aka, my conquest to return back to my pre-pregnancy body as healthily and as quickly as possible, has been in full-effect. Green juices, salads with tuna, whole grains, non-oil based vegetable stir fry and sashimi are in weekly rotation. The thing about finding your food groove, and identifying the best food items for your body, are not ironically like “raising and training” a baby: trial and error, and time, are your most effective mentors.
When I met my husband, my desire to create unique concoctions, those that journey outside the realms of comfort zone (classic Japanese and Italian fare) piqued, reaching dizzying heights. I was on a mission to promote my creative-cooking concept, and spread it worldwide, and still am a mission to find new ways to satisfy other’s unique food preferences, paired alongside my cooking ways and tastes. This new idea and challenge meant being able to mend the flavors I so love of old, with the new ways of his tastes, all with a Middle Eastern flare.
This week, I decided to delve into the world of Middle-Eastern and North African cooking, but with my own twists, and turns, and with the ingredients that suit my preferred flavor profiles (and of course, those that best work with my body). You too can try this one out, but pick the protein and sauces and fruit that work best for your weight loss, health journey, or what have you….
So, here you have it:
Moroccan Cous Cous with Peach + Soy Chicken
- Cous cous – small (can substitute barley, orzo, pearl cous cous)
- Chicken Breasts (can substitute beef, tofu, salmon…)
- Chicken Soup Powder (or vegetable or beef soup powder)
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Carrot (or pumpkin/sweet potato)
- Sweet Paprika
- Peaches (or pears, nectarines, mandarin oranges, etc)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Brown Sugar (can substitute other sweetner)
- Olive Oil
The Cous Cous
- In a large soup pot, add butter, onion and carrot, paprika and onion/garlic powder (other desired vegetables listed above per desired tastes- no specific amount) and cook until soft and translucent
- Brown cous cous grains for a few seconds before adding double the amount of water per grain ( 1 cup grain, 2 cups water)
- Add chicken broth powder to liquid and cook until liquid is absorbed
- Once cooked, feel free to add salt, more butter + more of the chicken soup powder for flavor
- Add olive oil to a pan and cook the chicken cubes through, then remove protein
- Add desired mix/amount of soy, balsamic and brown sugar until a liquid begins to coagulate
- Add the peaches into the liquid and cook until browned and soft
- Serve atop the grain
I hope this serves as a nice foray into middle-eastern style cooking and I hope you can take this concept, with its substitutes, and run with it any which way you desire!