My Israeli Couscous Almandine is a very popular dish for a potluck or large gathering. I designed this salad so that it would stand up to perhaps hours at room temperature—so no ingredients that would wilt, get mushy, or become unsafe to eat. Wife Jan is on the Noom Program, so she objects to dense starchy dishes. To please her, I make a salad that is mostly vegetables and fruit with just a bit of Israeli couscous.
Category Archives: Starches
My Israeli Couscous Almandine is a very popular dish for a potluck or large gathering. Today, however, I am making it just for the three of us. I cut my recipe in half, simplifies it slightly, and switched out pine nuts for the slivered almonds. Wife Jan is on the Noom Program, so she objects to dense starchy dishes. To please her, I make a salad that is mostly vegetables and fruit with just a bit of Israeli couscous.
Adapted from a BBC recipe
I was making a Moroccan goat tagine and couscous is a natural go together with tagines. While regular small grain Moroccan couscous is fine, I prefer the more substantial chew of the larger grained Israeli couscous—which, despite its name, is actually a form of pasta. This dish went well with the goat stew and made a truly memorable dinner.
When wife Jan went off to Burning Man I wanted to give her some quick, easy, and filling camp foods. Two conditions were that it would cook in a short time and not produce any waste water—throwing old pasta water onto the playa was strictly forbidden. I had settled on the idea of making “box” dishes—like RiceARoni®. A spice packet, pre-measured and mixed ingredients that you just add water to and simmer. My za’atar orzo was very popular with her camp.
My wife Jan has started on the Noom program, and I am adapting recipes to fit the new restrictions. While there is nothing really restricted on this diet, some foods are better than others—you are meant to fill up on “green foods” with some limited “yellow foods” to keep you happy and satisfied. Finally, there are “red foods”—foods like white flour and sugar that are to be severely limited in this diet. She requested orzo shrimp for dinner and I adapted the recipe to be more Noom friendly. The real goal of Noom is to reduce the amount of “red foods”—like butter and to include more “green foods” like vegetables.
I am making dinner for Daughter Eilene’s friends and I had decided to have green beans as a side dish. Since my main dish was a French flavored meatloaf, I chose to use French Harcourt Verts with French thyme and chervil—French parsley. While Harcourt Vert simply means “green bean” in French, they are usually picked younger, and are thinner—and tenderer—than the Blue Lake variety that is most popular in the US.
I am making broiled salmon for a weekday dinner and I usually make some kind of rice dish to go with it. Recently, I learned a new—to me—way of preparing basmati rice. The rice is par-boiled in a lot of water, drained, and then steamed with any additional ingredients. One of the fondly remembered dishes of my mother Claudia was green rice. Today, I decided to expand on my mother’s recipe by adding spinach—al la Florentine.
This Sunday’s Mercury News food section had a recipe for lobster spaghetti. As my followers may know, I cannot make any recipe as written—I have to add my own twists. Italian food with no onion—“Inconceivable!!!!”
Note: I have not posted any recipes in months. Some have used this time productively—for example my wife who has just written her 11th book. Part of my hiatus was due to the difficulty of shopping these days. The major reason, however, was that my kids—in concern for my mental health during a time of Covid—convinced me to play Dragon Age and Skyrim. It has taken me months to resurface—but their plan did work in the sense that those months just flew by. When I finally tried to post something new, I found that WordPress had taken away my “classic editor” and replaced it with a blank screen where all of the controls were hidden in long drop-down menus. It took me a while to recover from the shock. Continue reading
I am making Caldeirada—Portuguese fish stew—for wife Jan’s Burner friends. This soup sometimes contains potatoes, but I decided to make a second dish Patatas bravas—roasted potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce—with the potatoes. A pickled cucumber and tomato salad and bread from a Portuguese bakery round out the meal.