Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Toddler-Approved, Healthy, Delicious, and Fast Dinner Idea

Are you
- on the lookout for a really easy dinner recipe?
- desiring to eat healthy?
- need a meal that comes together super fast?
- a tired, busy lady who wants to feed herself and/or her family well, but can't spend an hour over the stove?

Then you're in luck!

After the holidays (aka the time when you eat like there's no tomorrow), I've been trying to find interesting ways to add more veggies to my family's diet. But I also have a climbing expert of a toddler, so our dinners need to come together quickly. Considering these factors, and my currentle love affair with couscous, I came up with this little diddy:

I am not usually one to experiment in the kitchen and actually come up with something tasty, so this may be a first! But even my husband loved this, and went back for seconds. (Which in our house is saying something!) If couscous makes you scrunch your nose up, I beg you to give it a try. It is slightly sweet and goes well with a lot of different foods, and it's so good for you. Plus there's no better combo than lime and cilantro. Give it a whirl - it only takes about 30 minutes from preparation to the first bite!

Serves 2 adults & one hungry toddler!

Ingredients

- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 10 oz. (or 1 1/4 cups) uncooked couscous
- Olive/canola oil spray
- 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 of a large zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3/4 cup of grape tomatoes, halved (or cut smaller - please make them small enough for what your toddler can handle so they don't choke)
- 1 cup chicken breast, cooked & shredded
- 1 tsp lime juice (a tad more or less depending on your preference)
- 1 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced 

Directions

- Begin cooking chicken breast, however you would like, in order to shred**
- In a medium saucepan, bring olive oil, salt, and chicken broth to just a boil
- Stir in couscous, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat olive/canola oil spray over medium heat
- Add bell pepper, zucchini, garlic and cumin powders, and spray a bit more oil to coat
- Cook veggies until tender, about 5-7 minutes
- Fluff couscous with a fork, then add cooked veggies, grape tomatoes, and shredded chicken breast
- Add a generous portion of lime juice (about 1 - 2 tsp) over couscous mixture & stir
- Top with slices of avocado and cilantro, and enjoy!

A Few Tips
- **To shred chicken breast, I put raw chicken in boiling water for 18-20 minutes, then stick it in my KitchenAid mixer. You could also use a hand mixer. It's super easy this way!
- To stretch this meal a little further, use a larger portion of veggies and shredded chicken
- You could also substitute 1/2 to 1 diced tomato for the grape tomatoes if necessary
- This was a delicious lunch the next day. I just popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds, although it probably would have tasted great cold as well. I would freshen it up with just a small splash of fresh lime juice and pinch of chopped cilantro.

In closing, this meal was toddler-approved. (Cue me fist pumping and throwing a party for myself).
Healthy, fast, delicious, and toddler-approved. What more could you ask for?

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3 comments:

  1. I think I will have to try this soon! We have a TON of couscous waiting to be used, and I'm wanting to incorporate more veggies this year. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. well, i now know what we're having for dinner tomorrow night! thanks Mackenzie!! =D

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  3. We love couscous! One of my favorite quick meals. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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