summer veggie saute

I must say that I have been having some serious PB withdrawals since working in the dorms this summer. There is not an ounce of natural PB…OR bananas….OR homemade bread in sight which makes breakfast a rather sad affair 😦 So, when I’m home for breakfast on the weekends, I’m more than eager to go back to my breakfast favorites! I haven’t had PB&B toast in WEEKS so I knew I needed to get some in this morning before gluten-free week begins. Homemade honey wheat + a fresh jar of Smucker’s Natural crunchy PB + a perfectly yellow-green banana = breakfast bliss!

For lunch, I had a delicious peach along with some of the best fresh cherries EVER and I made some of my chickpea tuna salad. You might remember that, while in Oregon a few months back, I came across Cafe Yumm and their absolutely amazing Yumm Sauce. I couldn’t figure out a way to keep a jar of it cold in my bag all the way back to Kansas, but luckily Mama Pea was one step ahead of me and posted a recipe for a perfect knock-off! I FINALLY made it and I want to eat it on everything! Be on the lookout for it all this week, but I added a spoonful to the chickpea tuna salad at lunch to help hold it together and it was great!

Dinner started with Israeli couscous:

It tastes just like the tiny little couscous you’re probably used to seeing, except each little grain is much bigger! I saw some in the bulk bins yesterday and just had to try cooking it for myself. With regular couscous, you just boil water or stock, stir in the couscous, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for about 5 minutes. The Israeli couscous is cooked more like rice or pasta, but is still pretty darn quick + delicious.

To go along with the couscous, I made one of my favorite dishes from the dining halls. I get so excited every time I see ratatouille on the menu and I always get so nervous that a) there won’t be any left by the time I get to eat or b) I won’t be working when they decide to serve it! There is no need for this though because it is super easy to make at home where I can have all of it to myself 🙂

Summer Veggie Saute + Israeli Couscous

  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c. dry Israeli couscous
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 small zucchini squash, cut into half-moons
  • 1/2 small yellow summer squash, cut into half-moons
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 tomato, cut into wedges
  • dash of salt, black pepper, and dried oregano
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (I used extra sharp white cheddar)
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth (or water) to a boil. Add couscous, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed and couscous is tender (about 10 minutes).
  2. In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute 3-5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and seasonings to taste. Saute 3-5 minutes until squash is beginning to soften but is still slightly crisp.
  4. Add tomato wedges (I cut the tomato wedges in half to make them a bit more bite-sized). Cook 3-5 minutes to allow tomatoes to soften and combine with other ingredients.
  5. Top with a sprinkle of freshly grated cheese before serving.

This is SUCH a flavorful, healthy dish that is ready in no time at all! I prepped my veggies while the couscous was cooking and it was extremely fast to give them a quick saute before throwing it all together. I’m honestly not a huge fan of zucchini or squash, but the flavor of this is so great that I can eat them no problem! The oregano, garlic, and onion are a huge part of this, but I also really love extra sharp white cheddar because you only have to use a little to get a huge punch of flavor in whatever you put it on.

We are right in the middle of squash + tomato season, so I highly recommend you take advantage and make this meal soon! Branch out and try Israeli couscous as well! I think you’ll love it and I got this 1/4 cup serving out of the bulk bins for less than $1.00. If you can’t find Israeli couscous, of course brown rice or any other grain you might have would work just fine. I do think cooking it in the veggie broth adds great flavor though, so I highly recommend that no matter what grain you choose. OR you could go without the grain all together and serve this as a great veggie side dish or main course! 😀

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