Yesterday I spent the day with Aunt Betty. My mom’s sister, Aunt Betty, is the one who used to serve about sixteen side dishes of every imaginable vegetable at Thanksgiving, and this alongside a counter lined with homemade cakes, pies, and cookies.
Somehow I believe she was always keeping up the spirit of her beloved grandmother who used to do the same for large family crowds apparently most every single Sunday, and the memories and admiration of these times simply endured. Now in her eighties, Aunt Betty’s energy might be a challenge for even those in their twenties, and this with a clear mind and propensity for having a lot of fun. Hmm. Maybe it was all the vegetables.
Yes, Aunt Betty is the one to go to a bar along with my siblings and inspire an entire customer base into a long Conga line. And yes, I have been privy to this on occasions, young and old alike joining in and before you know it everyone at the establishment is calling her ‘Aunt Betty,’ I’ve never quite seen anything like it. It’s even hard to be embarrassed by such episodes since it becomes pretty clear everyone wishes she were their aunt too.
Now today’s story line was supposed to be that sometimes a recipe doesn’t need a story like today’s recipe. Spending the day with Aunt Betty did not afford me much time preparing for dinner. But maybe, like those memories of her grandmother, perhaps my own memories with Aunt Betty inspired me to rapid speed in prepping lots of vegetables for this simple meal.
The vegetables used in this dish are just a guideline, an example that provides you an idea on what you might quickly prepare for dinner even using from what is currently in your own fresh vegetable bin. On the other hand, if you too prep a lot of vegetables lending an optimum healthy combination of vitamins and minerals, then perhaps it may follow that you too might grow into your eighties having such great spirit and energy to lead a Conga line among people of all ages in any given establishment someday. But for today, perhaps begin with, Bright Colored Vegetables with Whole Wheat Pearl Cous Cous.
- 1 small onion, half moon slices
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small zucchini, sliced, then cut in half
- 2 small summer squash, sliced, if larger sized then cut slices in half
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 pound haricot verts, stems removed, cooked in boiling water for three minutes then refreshed in ice water
- 1 ten ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen petite green peas, defrosted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, or more if desired
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup prepared whole wheat pearl cous cous
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 2 pinches cracked pepper, or more to taste
- Cook whole wheat pearl cous cous according to package directions, adding in the suggested salt and butter or olive oil. Prep vegetables. In a large size saute pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil heat onion on low temperature for three minutes to soften, then add in chopped red pepper cooking another minute before scraping in the zucchini, summer squash, and garlic. Stir to combine vegetables and cook until zucchini and summer squash are cooked through, approximately five to seven minutes. Add in the par cooked haricot verts, stir, and cook for another minute or two before stirring through the whole wheat pearl cous cous followed by the defrosted petite peas. Sprinkle in one teaspoon kosher salt and a couple pinches of cracked pepper, check seasoning adding more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer warmed vegetable dish into a serving bowl, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley just before serving.