So, I am going to talk about my other favorite topic. Food!
The Scientist and I are good corn-fed Mid-westerners. We both grew up with meat-and-potato families for the most part. However, we are both trying to be health and ecologically minded so we switched in the recent years to more vegetarian dishes. I often thought of vegetarian dishes as sides and was having trouble coming up with ideas. Over the years, we have incorporated our favorite dishes into our rotation and at this point, I can say, we eat vegetarian about 4X a week.
For this first installment, I thought I would talk about one of our favorite go-to dishes that is in season right now; Sour cherry couscous and zucchini. The recipe is below with a few very minor changes.
Grilled zucchini with sour cherry couscous
serves 4 as a light meal
1 large zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried couscous
1/2 cup sour cherries
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped
1. Thinly slice the zucchini length ways into strips with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Cook on a griddle pan or BBQ for 2 minutes each side or until tender then transfer to a plate and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
2. Place the couscous in a medium heatproof bowl and add one cup of boiling water, a handful of dried sour cherries, the juice and zest of half a lemon and stir.
3. Cover with lid 10 minutes until all the liquid has been soaked up. Fluff with a fork and add a tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve with the zucchini strips.
As far as tips go, we usually use fresh sour cherries, as they are in season right now, but we have also used the jarred variety with much success in the off season (make sure to put some of the juice in too!). As the basic recipe stands above, it is fresh but a bit bland, so we often spice it up with dill, cumin, or even a bit of hot sauce. Really, this recipe is very adaptable. Try whatever you like and let us know in the comments if you find something that really works!
If you are interested in learning more about why vegetarian lifestyles are important, I would recommend as interesting, introductory books, Micheal Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma or Grescoe's Bottomfeeder .