Easy Couscous Salad

Deliciosa ensalada de cuscús

A colorful, tangy, and crunchy couscous salad.

This salad reminds me of laughter and cool breezes while dining al fresco in Greece. My family and I traveled there during my college years and the texture and unbelievable flavor of the food has never left me. Another thing I remember is how the table was central to everyday life; people gathered, they shared good food, and lingered over heart connections. 

I invite you to gather your community, set the table, and enjoy deep Christ centered conversation together. This salad will help you do it easily and without much fuss. You can grill some chicken and use this salad as a side dish and Listo! you have a healthy meal to share! 

Ingredients

1 medium sized glass jar or food storage container
1 small red onion (or a half of a large red onion)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin

1 cup of pearl couscous /(I used a tri-color Israeli toasted one)/ 

2 cups of cherry tomatoes /cut in half/

1 English cucumber /cubed into medium sized cubes/ 

1 can of garbanzo beans /drained and rinsed/

1/2 red onion /thinly sliced/

1 cup feta cheese 

1/4 cup of fresh parsley /chopped/

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ground black pepper 

1/2 tsp sea salt

For the vinaigrette 

1/4 cup of olive oil + one tablespoon  to cut the tartness after you mix the ingredients 

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 lemon /juiced/

2 cloves of garlic /minced/

1stp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space

2. Thinly slice the red onion and put them aside

3. Take a quart sized pan and fill it with water, add salt and a splash of olive oil. (This step is flexible. Cook the couscous like you would cook pasta or follow the instructions on the package.)

4. Bring the water to a boil and then add the couscous simmer on medium until the couscous is “al dente,” not hard but not too soft. about 8-10 minutes. Then drain the couscous, rinse under cold water, and set in the refrigerator to chill. 

5. While the couscous is cooking, finish chopping the rest of the vegetables. (Keep your eye on the stove, anytime I cook pasta inevitably the water boils over.) 

6. While the couscous chills, mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until well blended. Taste to check the tartness and flavor. You may need to add the leftover olive oil or more salt and pepper. 

7. In a salad bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, feta, cucumbers, red onions, and parsley. Then add the chilled couscous. 

8. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to meld.

Deliciosa ensalada de cuscús

Ingredientes:

1 taza de cuscús de perla (yo use un cuscús de tres-colores)

2 tazas de tomates cherry cortados por mitad

1 un pepino cortado en cubitos medianos

1 una lata de  garbanzo escurridos y enjuagados 

1/2 una cebolla roja picada bien delgadita 

1 taza de queso feta 

1/4 taza de perejil picado 

1/4 cucharadita de comino

1/4 cucharadita pimienta molida

1/2 cucharadita de sal

 Para la  vinagreta 

1/4 taza de aceite de oliva + una cucharada para cortar la acidez después de mezclar los ingredientes 

1/4 taza de vinagre de vino tinto

El zumo de un limón

2 dientes de ajo picados

1 cucharadita de orégano seco

sal y pimienta a sabor

Instruciones 

1. Comienza recogiendo todos los ingredientes

2. Toma la cebolla y córtalas en rebanadas finas

3. Cocina el cuscús siguiendo las instrucciones del paquete, cuando el cuscús esté al dente, escurrirlo, enjuagarlo en agua helada, y ponerlo en la refri para que se enfríe. 

4. Mientras el cuscús se cocina termina de cortar el resto de los vegetales. 

6. Mientras el cuscús se enfría, mezcla la vinagreta en un frasco y agítalo vigorosamente hasta que esté bien mezclado. Pruébala para ver cómo está de ácido, podría ser que tengas que añadir más aceite de oliva o sal y pimienta. 

7. En una ensaladera, combina los tomates, garbanzos,queso feta, pepinos,cebollas rojas, y perejil. Después agrega el cuscús frío.

8. Sirve inmediatamente o ponlo en la refri un par de horas para que los sabores se mezclen. 

Buen provecho,

PIC Credit: Cameron Braun

Post also appeared in Eclecticshadesmagazine March/April 2019 Issue

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Create the Easiest Pickled Red Onions

take your power bowls and salads to the next level

Cebollas Rojas Encurtidas.


One of my fondest memories growing up in Honduras was spending time cooking with my aunt. She cooked outside on a mud stove that she herself remuded and took care of every day. She always had a pot of beans on the stove and mounds of tortillas handmade everyday. All of her delicious food was garnished with one kind or another with encurtido. On my travels to the Caribbean I rediscovered this childhood favorite and vowed to figure out how to make it at home! I asked my mom to give me her recipe because in Texas we kept a Texas-sized jar of vegetable encurtido on the kitchen counter too! Sabroso! As I’ve played around with my mom’s recipe my favorite encurtido to make is an easy pickled red onion recipe.

The total time for this recipe from prep to table is 20 minutes to 1 hour depending how long you want to let it marinade before you use it.
I make small batches so I use either a half of a large red onion or a small red onion and that makes about 8 servings. Each serving is about 1/2 a table spoon.

Ingredients

1 medium sized glass jar or food storage container
1 small red onion (or a half of a large red onion)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper + 6 or so whole kernels of peppers
1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space
  2. Thinly slice the red onion and put them aside
  3. take the glass jar and and mix together the remaining ingredients
  4. add the onions and stir well. If you are using a jar you can give it a little shake
  5. Listo! let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you use it.
  6. Now garnish any meal especially a breakfast with a sunny side up egg!

Notas

*Making this recipe should feel very comfortable and organic for you. Do not hesitate to add more of any of the ingredients to make it to your taste.
*Sometimes my slicing is not equal and uniform and that’s ok! The sharper your knife the better your slicing technique will be.
*When I don’t have oregano I substitute Herbs de Provence instead-you will love this herb blend!
*if you would like to submerge your onions completely you can add a bit more of vinegar or even olive oil.

Enjoy,

PIC Credit: Cameron Braun

Post also appeared in Eclecticshadesmagazine March/April 2019 Issue

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A Recipe to Make Today

Crispy Carnitas

Make this recipe and make your life deliciously simple.

These crispy carnitas will not only become your favorite meal but they will also make your life easier! You can make a double batch and they will help meal  planning for the week easy peasy. You’re  welcome!

Ingredients

Rub:

  • 1 table spoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

Crockpot or Dutch oven of pork shoulder:

  • about 3 lbs of pork shoulder, butt, or tenderloin
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 5 peppercorns
  • Juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime

For Serving

1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

  • cilantro 
  • lime wedges
  • salsa
  • avocados
  • tortillas*  
  • rice*
  • Cotija Cheese*
  • cauliflower rice
  • pickled red onion
  • a greens blend 

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables. Prepare the meat by cutting it into about 4 in cubes and pat dry with a paper towel and place in crock pot or dutch oven. 
  2. Combine rub ingredients  and rub all over the meat.

For Crockpot

  • Prepare the Vegetables.
  • With your hands add rub to the meat covering the cubes on all sides. Then top with the prepared vegetables and remaining ingredients . Make sure to include the juiced orange and lime rinds . Cover, cook on high for four-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. When done you will find the meat separates very easily with two forks and will be very tender.
  • Once Cooked remove the meat from the crock pot place it a bow allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

For Dutch Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and place the oven rack in lower middle position. 
  • Prepare the vegetables. 
  • Once you’ve added rub to the meat  top with prepared vegetables the remaining ingredients. Make sure to include the the juiced orange and lime rinds.  Cover and cook.
  • At 1 hour check the meat to ensure you have enough juices rendering if you find that its gotten dry you can add a 1/2 cup of broth. 
  • Cook for another hour to 2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart easily or internal temperature is at least 150 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes in Dutch Oven, remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

To Serve

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil ( or preferred oil) in a medium skillet. Without overcrowding the meat cover the surface of the skillet and add a little of the carnitas’ juice. Brown just until the juice has almost evaporated and then flip them and cook a bit more. Make sure to not let them get too dry.
  • You can store the remaining meat in an air tight container and repeat these browning instructions when ready to use the left overs.
  • Use any of the sides or toppings listed above to serve. Enjoy!

Notas

  • Whole 30 approved casava tortillas 
  • Omit rice and cheese if whole 30 

Enjoy,

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Butternut Squash Soup

Do you have a soup on your thanksgiving menu? If you don’t, I think this soup will change that real fast. This soup will make you feel cozy and thankful with its sweet notes that are enhanced by savory spices.

Here in Ohio, I savor watching summers fade into fall with annual anticipation. This is the golden time of year for me. Each dreamy fall day has marked my soul with their invitation to relish the beauty, to remember cycles and traditions, to let some things go. So, this Thanksgiving week as we let go of discontentment make this soup to nurture your soul. Wether it makes it on your Thanksgiving meal or for an easy meal after the celebration, I promise you will be glad you did. I invite you to set your table, light a candle, and let your tables nurture your health and open your heart to give thanks as you break bread together.

Ingredients

2 strips of bacon*
1-2 tbsp of olive oil or ghee*
1/2 of a shallot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 green apple, cubed
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of Whole fat unsweetened Coconut milk
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of boiling water

For Serving

Shaved parmesan, manchego, or your favorite aged cheese
Pumpkin seeds
Crusty bread and a favorite salted butter

Instructions

Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables.

  1. Even as your are chopping and prepping, heat a large pot on medium heat and cook the two slices of bacon. Let the bacon get crispy but be careful it doesn’t burn. When the bacon is cooked to your liking remove it and set it aside, it will crisp up even more as it cools.
  2. Add the tablespoon of olive oil or ghee to the pot. Then add your shallot and onion and let it cook, about 5 minutes, until it becomes translucent and smells divine.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic brown too much or it may turn bitter.
  4. Add the cubed vegetables, carrots, squash, and apple. At this point you may need to add more olive oil or ghee* depending on how big your butternut squash is. As they sauté add the spices and let it all sauté for 15 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables start to soften add the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Pour the half cup of boiling water in the empty tomato can to get all the sauce out, then pour it into the pot. Add the bayleaf and the two cups of chicken broth and let it simmer on medium for 20-25 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Do not let all of the water boil down. It should have lots of broth.
  6. Heat up the oven and prepare the bread you want to serve. Cut up the crispy bacon and put in a bowl, set out a bowl of the cheese, and a bowl pumpkin seeds.
  7. When the vegetables are very tender, taste it, you may need to add more salt and pepper. Add the can of coconut milk and let it simmer for a few more minutes maybe 4 or 5. Remove the bayleaf and transfer the soup to the blender, blend it until smooth. You can also use an immersion blener for this step.Serve immediately with warm crusty bread topping the soup with bacon, cheese, and pumpkin seeds.

Notas

Making this recipe should feel very comfortable and organic. Do not hesitate to add more of any of the spices to make it to your taste.
*Ghee is a clarified butter that you can find almost in any store now. I love to sauté and roast with it but you can also substitute butter or olive oil.
*When I don’t have oregano I substitute Herbs de Provence instead – you will love this herb blend!
*You don’t have to use bacon if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian.
*This soup tastes even better when shared with friends.

I pray Thanksgiving Blessings over your family,

Psalm 100 Booklet

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