Quick Vegan Southwestern Couscous

Quick Vegan Southwestern Couscous | Living Healthy in Seattle Quick Vegan Southwestern Couscous | Living Healthy in Seattle

Ohh whaaat how is it already September?!

And how on earth is summer almost over?

Now is the time to throw a tantrum in the middle of Target because no no no we are not ready for pumpkin and those damn leaves better stay on their trees for at least a few more weeks.

Because fall doesn’t “officially” start until September 22.

And I am not a sweater/scarf/boots/cold-weather type of person.

Cheeky swimsuits, Abercrombie & Fitch sundresses (shhh the moose logo is barely visable–no one usually notices–and let’s not wonder why I still have clothing from those dreadful high school days in my possession), shimmery sunscreen, and juicy berries galore is much more my scene.

But you know, sometimes you just have to go with the flow, otherwise you will end up in a miserable heap on the floor in Target.

Although I’m not quite ready to give in yet, so here’s a still summery recipe filled with veggies and flavor and spice!

I’ve been trying to be a hippie vegan when I’m cooking for myself, for environmental reasons, but am still living the whole pescatarian lifestyle when eating out or whenever I’m with skepticle peeps because a little cheese never hurt nobody (and I’m not about that drama).

“Sooo you just eat vegetables?”

Sigh.

Anyway.

This tasty and quick recipe is indeed vegan, but feel free to add some crumbled feta or queso cotija if you’re having a particularly rough day (ahem because summer is leaving us once again) and need a little cheese action in your life.

All you have to do is whip up some whole wheat couscous cooked in low-sodium veg broth, then stir in sauteed red bell pepper, crunchy carrots, sweet corn, earthy ground cumin, tomatillo salsa, baby spinach, toasted pepitias, zesty lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a bit of salt.

Wahoo doesn’t that sound exciting?

Serve with a double margarita or three then dig in.

Bonus points if you enjoy this ish poolside… the neighbor’s pool definitely counts.

Extra bonus points if you don’t even ask and your presence goes unnoticed.

P.S. If you’re a gluten-free individual go ahead and swap in cooked brown rice or quinoa for the couscous. That would be muy bueno in my book.

P.P.S. Why did these photos (and all the others I rejected) turn out semi-blurry, you ask? Maybe because I was photographing this dang couscous by my huge living room window in my undies (it was an extra sweaty day okay) and wanted to get the whole taking photos business done right quick in order to avoid too many unwanted neighbor stares.

P.P.P.S. That’s right, I used jarred salsa because sometimes you don’t have an extra 10 minutes to chop chop chop and crank out your own. I use frontera tomatillo salsa but feel free to use your personal fave.

P.P.P.P.S. Couldn’t decide if the cilantro garnish’s true home should be the center of the bowl or off to the side, sooo you get two shots. Yay!

Quick Vegan Southwestern Couscous

Serves 1

  • 2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous (use 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice for gluten-free version)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomatillo salsa (like Frontera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach; roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro; chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pepitas
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Bring the veg broth to a simmer in a small pot.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in the couscous and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Saute the carrots for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  5. Add the sweet corn, bell pepper, and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more.
  6. Stir in the salsa and lime juice, then cook for one minute, gently stirring.
  7. Stir in the spinach and cilantro, then fold in the cooked couscous.
  8. Add the toasted pepitas and salt, to taste.

 

 

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