Cooking Challenge: Around the World in Five Minutes

by - Friday, August 06, 2010

Day One at BlogHer was a blast. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people, but I'll save that recap for another day.

For now, I'm going to stick with my usual Friday Cooking Challenge post.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Near East, a company that makes couscous and lots of other grain mixes. I've used couscous tons of times in a variety of different meals and absolutely love it. So I was so excited when Near East contacted me to send me some free samples.

This summer the company is running a promotion called Around the World in Five Minutes. Each month, one of their chefs publishes a recipe from a variety of ethnicities. The idea being that it only takes five minutes to make couscous and it can be paired with foods that come from all over the world. They're also running a sweepstakes giving away a cruise, so if you're interested, pop over and enter.

My sample couscous was accompanied by a Thai recipe. I'm not a huge Thai fan, so I decided to try something a little different with my couscous.

At the farmer's market I picked up a container of baby squash.

There were so many different kinds in shapes and sizes I had never seen before.

While the couscous was boiling, I chopped up all the squash and threw them in a pan with some olive oil.

To add some bulk to my squash, I mixed in a can of chickpeas and sprinkled the whole mix with lots of garlic powder, oregano and Italian seasoning.

Once the couscous was done cooking, I spooned a big portion into a bowl and topped it with my veggie mix.

I topped the veggies with some pasta sauce and a little bit of Parmesan cheese and dug in.

So while I didn't use the Thai recipe, I still went around the world with Near East with my awesome Italian veggie mix. This recipe rocked. It was so good and so filling. It's definitely something I'll be making again!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all enjoy your weekends!

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