Summer is here. For some of you, in far flung places, this is a time to be outside, play and have fun. Here in Arizona it is 110 degrees already. Yes, 110 degrees. I understand that we have air conditioning but it strains to make it tolerable. Add to this the fact that I am very into my pregnancy at this point and all I can say is it is HOT.
That means that I don’t want to eat tons and tons of warm food right now. At night, sometimes I still want some warmed soup, but for the most part I want ice water, fresh food, and to not spontaneously burst into flames. And at 110 degrees, and climbing, this outcome feels like it is part of the realm of possibility.
Looking to the cuisine of people across the globe who also have to deal with hellish summers is a great way to go. I have been very inspired by African and Middle Eastern food recently. These are cuisines that developed without air conditioning! My pregnant mind boggles at the very thought. Seriously.
This was a creation of mine recently. It was light, refreshing, and darn easy to make. Darn easy to make is also a huge bonus since my feet decided to become the size of watermelons. A few notes about this dish. Most of the carbs come from the whole wheat couscous. They are good carbs, but if you want, eliminate them, the water and spinach, and just add in two more cups of cabbage. If you want less fat, 95% of the fat comes from the sunflower seeds. Again, it’s good for you, but if you can’t do the fat, eliminate those and add 1 cup of well rinsed, cooked garbanzo beans instead.
Jeweled Green Couscous
Makes 4 servings
2 cups of cooked whole wheat couscous (about 1 cup uncooked plus 1 ¼ cups of water)
2 cups of packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons of sweet white vinegar (I like to use white balsamic vinegar)
¼ cup of water
1 large bunch of kale
½ cup of shredded green cabbage
½ cup of shredded red cabbage
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup of small grape tomatoes
Cook the couscous. I boil the water and place the dry couscous in a shallow, heat proof bowl. Once the water boils, dump it over the couscous and wait for 5-10 minutes until the tiny pasta has absorbed all the water. While the couscous is cooking, blend the baby spinach with the ¼ cup of water and the 2 tablespoons of sweet white vinegar. Pour over the couscous and toss so it will turn a pretty green. Cut the kale into thin strips. Shred the cabbage. Add them with the couscous. Plate the couscous and top with the sunflower seeds, cranberries and grape tomatoes.