Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Potatoes Discs

Meat and potatoes go hand in hand.

The other day I brought you a simple technique for an everyday grilled steak.  Today we are looking at side dishes.  We love all types of grilled vegetables but this time around I chose baby red potatoes.  In keeping with the theme of grilling quick and tasty food, we learn toward something that can be made easily.  In this case we take some help from the microwave, and finish the dish on the grill.  That way the potatoes will be done when the steak is, and you can cook them both at the same time.

These are cute little potato discs.  I used a nice red potato which holds together well and is easy to slice.

This post is more of a technique than a recipe.  So I'll explain the process to you, and as always you can adjust to your liking.

Grilled Potatoes Discs
To serve 4 people you will want about 2lbs of red potatoes. (you can do as many or little as you like!).  Place them in the microwave in batches and cook them on high for about 3-5 minutes, depending upon the amount you are cooking.  You want the potato done but still firm.  Not mushy!  Once they are cooked allow to cool which will solidify the potato.  Cut the cooled potatoes in 1/2" discs.  Brush with olive oil and grill on a preheated grill on medium heat for about 3 min per side, or until you have some nice grill marks.  Turn over and cook the other side 2-3 minutes.

These are great served along side a dollop of sour cream that has been mixed with chives.  Taziki sauce is another great idea.  Equally as good would be a yogurt and herb dip, or plain ole' ranch dressing!  

The grill marks lends more flavor and jazzes these babies up!   What is your favorite side dish to serve along steak?


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Simple Everyday Grilled Steak

It's grilling season!

I love to eat outdoors, and to grill some wonderful food!  What's better than a steak on a grill?  Nothing in my book...

Sometimes you just want a simple steak for dinner.  One that doesn't take long to make, doesn't require all the fancy smancy stuff, just a basic everyday steak.  Well here you go!  I've got a great recipe for you which gives you just that.

You can make this with any cut of meat, just choose your favorite.  The seasoning is simple, with three ingredients.  The technique is simple as well.  All you need is a hot grill, a long pair of tongs, and your steak of choice!  You're good to go!

Cooking the steak may be the hardest part.  Do you find yourself always questioning wether it is rare, medium, or well done?  Have you gotten the timing down yet?  It's can be a tricky things until you get the feel of the steak.

Kitchen Tips:  Make sure your meat is at room temperature before putting it on the grill.
How to test if a steak is done. (tips are from

Temperature Testing for Doneness
Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the center of the steak. Be sure not to touch any bone, which could skew the reading. For hamburgers, cook at least to medium (145°), and many health experts say it’s smart to cook them to at least medium-well (160°).

The lower temperatures in each range apply to roasts, the higher temperatures to steaks. Roasts are removed from the heat at a lower temperature because the temperature rises more during a longer resting period. Cooking beef until well done is not recommended.

Very rare: remove from heat at 110º-120ºF; ideal temperature after resting: 120º-125ºF.
Rare: remove from heat at 115º-125ºF; ideal temperature after resting: 125º-130ºF.
Medium-rare: remove from heat at 125º-135ºF; ideal temperature after resting: 130º-140ºF.
Medium: remove from heat at 130º-140ºF; ideal temperature after resting: 145ºF.
Medium-well: remove from heat at 145º-160ºF; ideal temperature after resting: 155º-160ºF

Times for steak 1 - 1 1/2" thickness 

Very Rare4-5 minutes
Rare5-6 minutes
Medium Rare6-8 minutes
Medium7-10 minutes

Times for steak 1 3/4" - 2" thickness 

Very Rare5-6 minutes
Rare6-8 minutes
Medium Rare8-10 minutes
Medium10-12 minutes

Visually Testing for Doneness 

Judge the doneness of grilled beef visually by cutting into the thickest part. Rare beef will look reddish in the center, and medium will have a trace of pink. Cooking beef beyond medium causes it to dry out and become tough so use caution in the well done area.

Carry Over Cooking

All beef should rest for 3 to 15 minutes after grilling, depending on size, to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.  The internal temperature could rise as much as 5° to 10° as the meat sits, depending on size.  Keep this in mind, and remove beef from the grill when it is 5° to 10° shy of the desired temperature. You can always cook beef a little more, if needed.

I hope that these tips help you out!  So go out, buy some steaks and enjoy some great grilling.

As you can see mine is more like Medium-Well.  I like it Medium....but I got distracted with something on TV and left it on the grill too long! Oops, I hate when that happens!  It was still tasty though!

Simple Everyday Grilled Steak

serves 4

4 restaurant cut top sirloin steaks (or your favorite steak choice)
8 T worcestershire sauce
1-2 large storage bags
salt & pepper

Place the steaks and worcestershire sauce in one or two large storage bags. Marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove steaks from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Allow steaks to come to room temperate, about 20 min, while you start up the grill.

Salt & pepper steaks for seasoning.

Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes total for medium temperature.  Remove from the grill and allow to rest, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes to redistributes the juices.

Cut steak against the grain, on an angle in long thin slices.  Serve.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Southern Sundays

Happy Southern Sundays

It's beautiful outside today.  The sun is shining and the birds are all singing.  I'm ready to head out to a cooking class on grilling seafood.  It should be a great class and everyone can use some techniques on cooking fish and seafood on the grill.  Such a delicate food.  MGG LOVES LOVES LOVES fish.  I would say that he eats that more than chicken, and certainly more than beef.  Me, I don't care for it so much, which you may have noticed by my lack of fish dishes here.  I'm a beef girl at heart.  I love me some good steak!  But, I'm going to class to learn how to cook for my man, and possibly learn to like fish myself.  We'll may be a hard sell.  What about you?  What is your favorite fish or seafood, and how do you like to prepare it?

So I hope everyone has a wonder Sunday, and an even better week!  

On to Southern Sundays....last week was a blast.  There were two outstanding recipes that everyone enjoyed above the rest.  I must say it was a cupcake week by far.  I would also like to feature one of my favorites this week as well...see below for my guilty pleasure pick of the week.

Congratulations on the featured recipes!
Please take a moment to visit the creators of these delectable treats and stop by their blog and say "Hi!".

by Winnie of Something Sweet
by Lisa of Flour Me with Love
My guilty pleasure of the week is...
by Ms. enPlace

Thank you all for joining...such great entries!

Let's party again and see what wonderful things you are cooking up this week!

Please become a follower by joining my site with Google Friends Connect in the right side bar.
Link back to your specific recipe and not to your main site.
Link back to Southern Sundays either in your post, or grab my Southern Sundays Button located in the right side bar.
Please visit a few of the links in the post and say hello to your fellow bloggers!
Enjoy, have fun, cook lots of food, and relish your Southern Sunday!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Turkey Italian Panini & a Product Review

I'm on a sandwich kick this week, but I always like a good sandwich on the weekends.

Weekends are always pretty busy, running errands, doing housework and such.  A sandwich is a quick and easy meal, filling, and can be created with so many variations.  Whatever your taste there is a sandwich for you!

Panini's are all the rage.  Do you own a panini press?  There are some great ones out there.  I do have a confession to make though.  I don't own one...nope.  But what's a bigger confession, is what I do own.  Remember that certain famous boxer that created his mean lean grilling machine??  Yep, I must say that I bought a small Foreman Grill for myself way back when.  And you know what?  It's a great panini maker!!!  So that's what I use.  If you don't have a maker, or a Foreman grill like me, you can use a grill pan and just put another heavy skillet on top of the sandwich.  That works just fine.

The idea is to grill the sandwich and to weigh it down so that it compresses.  It's also super  yummy.  A hot, gooey sandwich. Yum!

This one is Italian in spirit.  Flavors of Italy such as pesto, and artichoke lend that certain creaminess and bite to the sandwich to take it up a notch.  Williams-Sonoma makes an awesome spread called ’wichcraft Panini Spreads -  Artichoke Parmesan Pesto Panini Spread.  It truly takes this panini to a new level.  Artichoke Parmesan pesto features fresh artichokes, toasted pistachios and nutty Parmesan cheese.  This spread is also great with roasted meats, burgers, or for use with appetizers.  Make sure to stop by Williams-Sonoma and pick some up. This is a great buy.
’wichcraft Panini Spread, Artichoke

So with all the bold flavors accompanying some deli fresh roasted turkey, you'll have a great sandwich.  Serve it on some nice wheat bread for extra nuttiness.  This is a great lunch!

Turkey Italian Panini

serves 1

2 slices of wheat bread, crusts removed
¼ c shredded Gouda cheese
2 heaping Tablespoons of  Artichoke Parmesan Pesto Panini Spread*
3 slices of deli roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
1 large tomato slice
1 tsp mayonnaise
Olive Oil cooking spray

Take one of the bread slices and place the shredded Gouda cheese on top.  Carefully spread the pesto artichoke spread on top of the cheese.  Add the turkey slices.  Top with the tomato.

On the second slice of bread spread the mayo and top the sandwich.  On the outsides of both slices of bread lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray to assist with grilling.

Place in a heated Panini maker and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and grill marks are pronounced.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fast & Fresh: Turkey Salad Sandwich

Today I'm making you a Super Sandwich!

A classic sandwich that's been updated so it's easy to prepare at home but every bit as tasty as the version you get in a restaurant.

Today's sandwich is a variation of the classic Chicken Salad Sandwich.  Every bit as good, but with a twist by using fresh roasted turkey instead.  How fun is that?  I was in the store the other day and having a comfort food attack, so I bought a fresh roasted turkey breast half.  You should be able to pick one up next to the rotisserie chickens.  I wanted to have turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy...longing for Thanksgiving I guess!  So when I bought this we had our wonderful dinner but only ate several slices off this gigantic half breast that I bought.  I was going for the medal on this one, picking the biggest turkey breast thinking it was so juicy, and tender (which it was!) but not thinking of all the leftover turkey. Ha!

So what to do with the leftovers???  Well a couple of things came to mind.  But since I had some beautiful croissants on hand, why not make a Turkey Salad Sandwich!

I made this for dinner last night.  I always say a great meal doesn't have to be flashy and complicated to satisfy you.  This sandwich is all about "less is more".  The ingredients are simple, but the best part is  that it is made with olive oil mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt so it's low in calories, and tastes good too!

To give this sandwich a little zip, I added dried cherries, and fresh tarragon.  A little further variation from the classic.

Do you all know about Greek yogurt?  This yogurt is popular all over for it's creaminess.  It's thick and mild tasting as well.  It's gaining more and more popularity in the US every day.  It's usually made with whole-fat cow's milk, and is good for you.  Make sure to check it out if you haven't tried it yet.  Makes a great dip too!

So if you want a nice light dinner that's Fast & Fresh, turn to this sandwich.  It would be equally  good served without the bread, in a lettuce cup.  Or you could seve it in tortilla or wonton cups that you've baked and molded in the oven.  As popular as this is everyone will enjoy this version.

Turkey Salad Sandwich

Serves 4

4 c chopped turkey
3/4 c diced celery
1/2 c dried cherries
1/4 c olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 c minced green onions
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh tarragon, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 c cashews, roughly chopped
4 croissants, cut in half
4 leaves of green or red leaf lettuce

Combine the turkey, celery, cherries, mayo, yogurt, parsley, green onions, lemon juice, and tarragon in a bowl.  Mix together to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Chill until ready to serve.  

Just prior to serving add cashews.  To serve, take each split croissant and add 1 leaf of lettuce on the bottom side.  Add turkey salad, dividing among the 4 croissants.  Serve immediately, and store and leftovers in the refrigerator up to two days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cherry Berry Smoothie

You know how I love my summer fruit right?

Well I just got back from Sprouts, which is a store with a farmer's market concept.  The primary items are fruits and vegetables.  They also have a great bulk item section, and many organic foods, if you like that too.  I go for the great selection of fruits and veggies at such great, great low prices!  Make sure to try them out if you have one in your area.  Definitely worth going!

So I bought a car load of fruits.  I'm always doing that.  It's my weakness and I can't help it!  So I have to eat a LOT of fruit every day so it doesn't spoil.  This week I bought grapes, cherries, apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, plums, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  See what I mean???

I really can't help myself....

So I woke up and decided to make one of my favorite drinks...a smoothie!  I've posted many many smoothies recipes before, but I think I might just say this is one of the best, if not THE BEST.  I'm torn...

This is a Cherry Berry Smoothie.  I started off with adding some berries, (blue and black) and then came the cherries, and I threw in some green grapes just for good measure!  Oh,  I got to use my handy cherry that gadget!  It just pops the pits out! Simple!!  What is your favorite gadget??

Back to the smoothie.  It's sweet all on it's own so sugar or nectar isn't necessary.  And I forgot the banana, but it was loaded with fruit it came out thick and creamy anyway!  So try this. You'll see, it delishhhhh!

Just look at this color...purple is my favorite...who wouldn't love this!

Cherry Berry Smoothie

Serves 1

1 10oz container of lite vanilla yogurt
8 blackberries
10 blueberries
7 pitted cherries
5 green grapes
¼ c 2% milk
1 cup of ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender in order listed and then blend until smooth and ice is crushed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Southern Sundays

Welcome to
Southern Sundays
and happy
Father's Day!

I'm sure that you are all having a wonderful time celebrating the wonderfulness of your Father's in your life.  What is everyone doing to celebrate?  Are you grilling?  Going out to eat?  Or doing something fun, that doesn't involve food??  Let me know with a comment below and share your precious moments!

So straight to this week's featured recipes. We had 4 top recipes that everyone adored! And strawberry cakes were a BIG hit!

Congratulations on this week's features!
by What's Cooking Love?

by Michelle's Tasty Creations

by Simple Living with Diane Balch

by Flour Me With Love

Everyone ready to party?

Please become a follower by joining my site with Google Friends Connect in the right side bar.
Link back to your specific recipe and not to your main site.
Link back to Southern Sundays either in your post, or grab my Southern Sundays Button located in the right side bar.
Please visit a few of the links in the post and say hello to your fellow bloggers!
Enjoy, have fun, cook lots of food, and relish your Southern Sunday!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fast & Fresh: Spicy Pork and Orange Chopped Salad

I hope you are all enjoying summer.
I can't believe that it is almost the end of June.

The magnolia trees are in bloom...

The jacaranda trees are in bloom...

I just love the summer flowers that grow around my area.  Do like flowers?  What are your favorites?

Today's entry is another Fast & Fresh idea.

I mentioned the other day how MGG loves salads.  Well I eat them a lot too, but when I make a "main dish" salad I usually like to put protein in it.  It helps keep me full, gives the salad interest, and it's tasty and healthy.

Let's review what Fast & Fresh recipes are:

"Fast & Fresh"

Simple ingredients
Fresh and healthy
Easy prep
Delishhhh taste!

This salad is just perfect.  It's also unique in that it isn't your normal everyday salad.  The flavors are spicy.  Do you like spicy food? Hope so.  The spice comes from the Chinese 5 spice that flavors the pork, and the wasabi soy almonds that are used for garnish.  If you don't like spice leave out the spicy almonds for sure (sub regular ones instead), and possibly substitute an Asian seasoning blend for the Chinese 5 spice.  

Oh! and I mentioned pork didn't I??  Yep, pork.  But a nice lean pork tenderloin.  Just go grab yourself a small one from Trader Joe's and cut off enough for a quick stir fry in your skillet.  Nothing fancy.  I've found that Trader Joe's is the perfect place to get a small pork tenderloin at a great price, as the grocery stores around here carry ones that are HUGE and cost a fortune.  If you don't care for pork, substitute chicken.  It's all good.

The best combination is the oranges, and the pork.  A little sweet, spicy, the coleslaw mix lends some crunch as do the almonds.  All together you've got one interesting and tasty salad.

So tasty....!

Product Note:  Blue Diamond Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds can be found next to the cocktail peanuts.  Beware...these are spicy!

Spicy Pork and Orange Chopped Salad
Adapted from Southern Living
Serves 4
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oranges
1/2 cup chinese chicken salad dressing
1 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped
3 cups shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 cup wasabi-and-soy sauce-flavored almonds

Toss pork with Chinese 5 spice seasoning and salt to coat. Saute pork in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until done.
Peel oranges, and cut sections, removing any white pith. Cut slices into chunks.
Pour dressing into a salad bowl. Stir in oranges, cucumber, and cilantro. Let stand 5 minutes. Add romaine, coleslaw mix, and pork; toss gently. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fast & Fresh: Tomato Stack Salad

I'm bring back my summer series of Fast & Fresh recipes!

Let's beat the heat by keeping it light, using fresh ingredients, and keeping the kitchen heat to a minimum.

"Fast & Fresh"

Simple ingredients
Fresh and healthy
Easy prep
Delishhhh taste!

First up...another great side dish.
A salad in fact!

Salad's make a great addition to your main protein in your dinner.  They are also perfect as a main course for lunch.  They lend themselves to many variations, so creativity flows when it comes to salads.  MGG absolutely loves salads!  He usually eats some type of salad every day.  I'm beginning to think he is part rabbit!  

I saw this particular salad being demonstrated in my mom's Publix in TN.  It was a combination of tomatoes and chicken stacked and served as a light lunch.  So inspiration set in and I made my version of an all veggie stack salad!  It came out so pretty!  Take a look at all the colors that scream "fresh".   I decided on two colors of tomatoes to give it more interest.  Since it isn't tomato season yet...this was really good, but would be killer in August or September!

I think this makes a great side dish, and wouldn't say it would fill you up as a main course.  MGG literally RAN to this salad.  I actually think he ate two stacks, cause my leftovers were missing again!  He's known to do that...

What is your favorite salad?  What do you like to do with tomatoes?

How Fast & Fresh was that?  Hope you enjoy!

Tomato Stack Salad

serves 6

1 red tomato
1 yellow or orange tomato
1 cucumber, peeled
feta cheese crumbles, for garnish
cilantro, chopped for garnish
Red wine vinaigrette

Slice both tomatoes in 1/4 to 1/2" slices.  Slice the peeled cucumber the same width.  

To assemble:  On a platter, layer slices of yellow tomato, red tomato, and cucumber, at least two layers.  Sprinkle with with crumbled feta cheese and cilantro.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zucchini Fries

Tired of the same ole' side dish?

How often do you cook the same side dishes?  Corn, green beans, potatoes (mashed or baked).  Sound familiar?? 

Side dishes are an important part of the meal that are often overlooked.  I know that I surely get in a rut and cook the same sides over and over!  Everyone can use a little exploring in the side dish arena.  I mean, they are such an important part of the meal.  It's recommended that 3/4 of your plate contain some sort of side dish, whether it is a starch or vegetable.  

So I've been experimenting with side dishes.  Bringing more vegetables in to my diet.  Low carbs, high fiber, they are GOOD for you!  Summertime brings summer squash.  I'm lovin' me some squash!  So I had some left over zucchini in the frig and needed to use it up before it went bad.  So I experimented and decided to make zucchini fries!  Oh yea, I said zucchini fries...light, roasted (not fried) breaded bits of tender zucchini, posing as a fry.  That's my take on it anyway.  More like oven fried zucchini sticks, but I like to call them fries.  

Are you excited yet?  These are sooooo good!  And, what better way to get your kids to eat some veggies by calling them fries!!!  Major winner!  You can eat them alone, or better yet, serve with a nice creamy dip.  I suggest some sour cream and chives, a creamy garlic yogurt dip, or a nice lemon aioli.  

What's your favorite new side dish?  I love to know...

These are almost too easy  to require a recipe, but I did put something together for you.

Zucchini Fries

serves 4

1 medium zucchini
1 egg
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t Italian seasoning
Optional:  creamy dip, or sour cream and chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise.  Slice each half into planks and then in to long strips.  To make them bite size fries cut each long strip in half across the width.

Beat egg in a dish. Set aside.  In another dish place panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and grated cheese.  Mix to blend.

Dip sticks in egg and then in the bread crumb mixture.  Turn to coat all sides.  Place on a wire rack that has been placed inside a cookie sheet.  This allows browning on all sides.  Bake for 20 min until golden brown and tender.

Serve with a nice creamy dip if desired.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Southern Sundays

Welcome to another...
Southern Sundays

Is the weather warming up where you are? It sure is around here.  Summer is on the way and I'm getting in the grilling mood.  In fact, we grilled last night!

We had a wonderful chicken kabob dish flavored with tequila and lime....can anyone say Margarita??  Oh, and I made a tomato stack salad that was to die for!  Look for the posting of these recipes soon!  What is your favorite food to grill?  Is it chicken, steak, pork, vegetables, or perhaps pizza??  Let me know!  It's fun to share different ideas with each other and I love the creativity that you all have!

A big "thank you" to all that participated in last week's Southern Sundays.  We had a great response and several recipes were very popular among the crowd.  This week I'll be featuring 3 outstanding recipes!  Take a moment and pop over to the creator's sites and say 'Hi!".

Congratulations on this week's features!

by The Mouth of the South

by Cooking with K

by Back For Seconds

Quite a selection wouldn't you say?
Everyone ready to party?

Please become a follower by joining my site with Google Friends Connect in the right side bar.
Link back to your specific recipe and not to your main site.
Link back to Southern Sundays either in your post, or grab my Southern Sundays Button located in the right side bar.
Please visit a few of the links in the post and say hello to your fellow bloggers!
Enjoy, have fun, cook lots of food, and relish your Southern Sunday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chicken With Tomato Couscous

I just got back from vacation visiting my family in Franklin, TN.  Jet lagged...but I had a great time!  Let me just say that the weather was just gorgeous all week.  Not hot, not humid (which it always seems to be humid to a Californian!) mid-70's...just perfect!

Franklin, TN is such a quaint place to visit with lots of civil war history, beautiful countryside, and fun things to see and do.  Mom and I love to take long drives viewing the countryside and small towns that surround the area.  This time we went to Radnor Lake and I was so happy that we did.  It was beautiful!

I took some time to take pictures of the lake, the old part of town, and some wonderful Victorian houses that are in the area.  I'll be sharing those pictures and stories with you soon.  I think that traveling is such an exciting part of life.  Seeing other parts of the country, how the people live, what's important to them, and the food they make is a growing experience.  This is one of my favorite things!  Do you all feel the same way?  What is the best place that you've visited??

This week in Nashville, the CMA awards were going on.  The city was crowded with people that came from all over.  My flight home last night was a star-studded flight to say the least.  Celebrities going home to LA.  Tom Arnold, Denise Richards, and Stone Cold were very friendly and taking photos with a local Army serviceman, which was fun to watch.  This definitely made the 4 hour flight go quicker, and was nice to see the honor to our serviceman.  

But on to the food....

The other day I left you with a homemade Hummus recipe.  (Click on the title in the previous sentence to go to that recipe. )  This recipe focuses on a dish that goes well with that hummus.  A  Mediterranean style dish that is a great family, weeknight dish.  You can have this on the table in 30 minutes.  How great is that?  Using simple ingredients, and a little help from packaged couscous you can have a flavorful chicken and couscous dish that is complimented by hummus and pita wedges.

What is Couscous you say?? Couscous is a wonderful grain.  Made from semolina these tiny bits of round pellets come from North Africa and is a staple in many countries along the Mediterranean Sea.  Most stores sell a version of instant couscous which cooks very quickly, 5-8 minutes. (Love that!)  Couscous should be light and fluffy, and never gummy.  If you've never tried it, take a chance, cause you are in for a treat!  It's a great alternative to rice.  A very versatile grain.  You can find in the store next to the rice.

Kitchen Tip:  Flavor couscous by cooking in either water or chicken broth, and adding spices, herbs, or vegetables. 

Try this dish soon.  A great weeknight meal, and very kid-friendly.  They love the little grains, cause they are like mini rice!   I'm sure that everyone will give you a big "thank you" for cooking this for dinner!  

See the little pearls of couscous here?  It's great with all the vegetables and herbs in it!

A great dish to serve with the homemade hummus...the flavor work together so well.
I love this dish!

Chicken With Tomato Couscous

serves 4

1 10 oz package toasted pine nut couscous
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper to taste for seasoning
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 T chopped fresh basil
2 T red onion, minced
1T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Hummus and pita wedges (optional)

Prepare couscous according to package directions.
Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook chicken in a large nonstick skillet or grill pan, over medium high heat about 8 minutes on each side or until done.
Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, onion, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. oil, and the salt and pepper.  Stir tomato mixture into prepared couscous.
Divide couscous mixture among 4 plates; top each with 1 chicken breast.  Serve with hummus and pita wedges if desired.
adapted from Southern Living


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