Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous

Ingredients:
1 zucchini
8 oz grape tomatoes
2 sprigsThyme (.5 oz)
2 Scallions
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1 can Chickpeas
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 cup couscous
1/2 Tablespoon Stock Concentrate
1/2 cup Feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry all produce. Adjust racks to middle and upper position and preheat to 425 degrees. 
  2. Trim zucchini, then cut into 1/2-inches cubes. Halve tomatoes. Strip thyme leaves from stems. Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Mince garlic. Halve lemon.
  3. Toss zucchini, tomatoes, and half of the thyme leaves on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Roast in oven on middle rack until tender, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas. On another baking sheet, toss chickpeas, paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven on upper rack until crisp, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway. TIP: The chickpeas may pop-it’s natural.
  5. Heat 1 Tablespoon butter, garlic, and scallion whites in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, add couscous and remaining thyme leaves. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing until couscous is lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir stock concentrate and 1 1/2 cups water into pot. Bring to boil, then lower heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook until couscous is al dente, 10-12 minutes.
  7. Add half the veggies, half the feta cheese, and squeeze of lemon to pot with couscous and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide couscous & veggies between plates, then top with scallion greens and remaining feta cheese.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Always a hit at any party! A great snack & easily reheat-able

Prep. time: 20 min

Cook time: 16 min

Ingredients:

  • 20 Medjool pitted dates*
  • 1 pound aged Manchego cheese, cut into 20 blocks
  • 10 slices bacon, cut in half

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Make an incision on one side of each date and insert a block of Manchego. Squeeze the date shut in your hand to secure. Wrap each date with a bacon strip and secure with a toothpick. Place all the dates on a sheet tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roast the dates in the oven until the bacon on top is starting to crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the dates over and cook the other side until the bacon crisps, roughly another 10 minutes.

*I’ve started to replace the cheese with an almond, which makes them dairy free and adds a bit of a crunch.

*I often get dates with pits in them and de-pit them myself with needle-nose pliers. By cutting the tip of the date off and pulling out the pit.

~Recipe is based on Anne Burrell’s from foodnetwork.com