Monday, September 10, 2012

Quick and Healthy Veggie Stew for lunch

It is back to school time - which means back to packed lunches for me.  Packing lunches is one of those chores that I just do not care for.  I try to pack them the night before because I am out the door at 6:45am and I am NOT a morning person.  I have been making wraps with light Flat Out wraps, hummus, artichokes and other veggies, but I am already bored with cold lunches.

My poor neglected and almost finished garden came to the rescue!  
Japanese Eggplant from my garden

I have had a bumper crop of japanese eggplant this year and had four large ones to use.  So I decided to make up a batch of Veggie Stew with Couscous.  

This is me getting fancy with my new Hipstamatic app.  :-)

The Veggie Stew is a recipe that I ripped out of an old Family Circle Magazine (September 1993).  I have 3 big binders full of extremely disorganized magazine clippings that I'm going to organize "some day."

I think maybe color photos are better for food?  Yes?

Here is the finished product.  It will end up in my lunch tomorrow on a bed of couscous with a light sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese. 

Veggie Stew with Couscous 
Nice change from a cold sandwich!

Veggie Stew with Couscous
  • 1 large eggplant or about 4 medium japanese eggplants , cut in1/2-inch chunks (about 7 cups
  • 2 zucchini quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) seasoned diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted this time to change it up but I usually use Italian seasoned)
  • 6 scallions or about 1 cup of onion finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp each dried thyme and salt.  (I used one large bunch of fresh thyme from my garden - just threw it in stems and all)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup instant couscous, prepared according to package directions
1.  Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the eggplant and cook 4 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.  Remove from pan.

2.  Add another Tbsp oil and zucchini and onion.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.

3.  Add the tomatoes, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.  Simmer on low for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and flavors are combined.

4.  To serve:  Put couscous on the bottom of a plate or bowl.  Spoon veggie stew over the couscous and top with feta cheese.

This stew gets better as it sits in the fridge so I try to make it ahead.  It is perfect for a yummy school lunch!  Now I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

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