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When I lived in Rome there was nothing I liked more than going to the market and picking out all of these fruits and vegetables to make into one big meal for all my roommates. So easy, so quick, so delicious!
This recipe is so easy and feeds so many hungry tummies. It takes exactly 30 minutes to make, including all the prep work. Only add as much of each ingredient as you like (some people don’t love onion and prefer to use half instead of a whole onion).
Start with boiling 1 and 1/4 cup of water in a sauce pan on the stove.
While that is boiling, dice the onion, apple (I recommend an apple that is red and green), and pear. Throw them into a large skillet and let them brown, mixing occasionally. Keep the heat on the medium to low side, you’re in no rush! (You can also add minced garlic to this step if your heart desires.)
While the water is boiling and the onion/apple/pear is browning, dice an eggplant and all the zucchini you want.
When your water finally reaches a boil, add the 1 cup of couscous (I recommend the larger, “Israeli” couscous). Then add a drop of olive oil to keep the couscous from sticking together. Reduce the heat and leave the lid on the pot for about four minutes. After that, remove the lid and stir couscous every once in a while with a fork (should only take about 8 minutes to cook).
Remove the onion/apple/pear deliciousness and throw into a big bowl.
Add some olive oil to the skillet and throw the eggplant and zucchini in. Add a dash of balsamic to taste. Stir this mixture often while watching the couscous. You will know when this mixture is done because the zucchini will be see-through and the eggplant will be a nice brownish color.
Grate your cheese of choice (I prefer pepper jack, but to each his own). The more cheese, the better!
When the couscous is done, throw it into the big bowl with the onion/apple/pear mixture. Immediately layer the cheese on top (to melt it). At this point I like to add crushed red pepper flakes, but that is just a suggestion. Add the eggplant and zucchini on top. Mix all ingredients well.
Now for the bean topping. In the same pot you used for the couscous, combine the peas, kidney beans, black beans, and white beans or lentils (or both!). Using low to medium heat, warm the beans while carefully mixing.
Once the beans are warmed, take a heaping serving of the couscous/fruits/veggies and put it in a bowl. Then take several spoonfuls of the bean toppings and add it to the bowl. Then get a fork, eat your creation, and fall into vegetarian bliss.
Serve with brown rice, jasmine rice or any type of noodle: rice noodles, mung bean noodles (which are gluten free), soba noodles, ramen (without the seasoning packet)—I have even used regular pasta in a pinch. Use whatever you have on hand. I made this version completely vegetarian (even vegan) but it would be delicious with grilled shrimp, sliced chicken, or beef.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!