This particular recipe I saw on Cate’s World Kitchen, and knew it’d be a great beginning of fall dish. My fiancé and I are both big fans of balsamic vinegar, to the point where sometimes we use just that as our salad dressing. I wound up omitting the mushrooms because he isn’t a big fan, and instead of Japanese eggplant, I just used regular. Of course I threw some spices on it as well to warm it up a bit!
I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen the past week and a half thanks to my latest and greatest running injury. I somehow managed to out-do myself, and have had trouble walking since last Thursday (the 9th). While running in our Vibram Five Fingers, at about mile 5 I felt pain in my achilies and ankles, so I stopped. Walking helped a lot, and I didn’t feel too awful on the drive home. However, as soon as I got out of the car, I could barely walk – that 20 minute drive gave my muscles and tendons the perfect amount of time to tighten up, and swell. The next day I could barely walk; I shuffled myself through the office awkwardly. I’ve been icing it daily, and my canckles are slowly going down. I’m anxious to get back to running, but realize I need to wait until I have absolutely no pain when walking before doing so. I had a little breakdown on Saturday night from sheer frustration and discomfort, as I have a 5k race in just 3 weeks that I was hoping to PR at. I’m hoping to get in a mile or two today, as I’m slowly feeling better. But we’ll see.
But back to the food! The recipe was straightforward and easy; it was nice to chop up the veggies, coat them in the balsamic vinegar, throw them in the oven, and leave them for a bit to do homework. I always appreciate meals that don’t require constant attention. I decided to use a package of cous cous that my parents actually gave me over the weekend. I have no idea why they even have cous cous in the house, because my dad loathes it. Cous cous and ginger are on his hate list, which I think is so weird, because other than that, he loves pretty much everything. Oh, and he hates chocolate and mint combined, but so do I so I’m okay with it! It was a pine nut cous cous, which was a nice change of pace from our regular whole weat cous cous. I’d recommend getting some flavored cous cous every so often just to jazz it up.
Balsamic Vegetables with Cous Cous
(adapted from Veggie Belly)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper
1 medium Japanese eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ cubes
1 small red onion, cut into wedges
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
10 button mushrooms, halved
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut chiffonade
1. Preheat the oven to 475 F.
2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
3. Toss all the vegetables in a large bowl, and add half the dressing. Mix so that all the vegetables are coated, then spread onto a rimmed sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until everything is tender.
4. While the vegetables are roasting, bring the water to a boil in a medium covered saucepan. When it boils, turn off the heat and stir in the couscous. Let stand, covered, for about ten minutes. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
5. Add the roasted vegetables, remaining dressing, and basil, and mix well before serving.