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Vegetable Couscous


“Have you ever wondered how many miles your cantaloupe has on it or questioned the gas guzzling habits of your kiwi? When you reach for that apple in the produce bin, do you consider the hand that picked it from the tree? Do you ever think about the life that bag of spinach had prior to your tossing it in your shopping cart? Before our food makes it to the table it has been grown, harvested, handled, processed, packaged, shipped, stocked, perused, carted and bagged.
In the last century, the food habits of Americans have progressed from eating meat, dairy and produce from our own backyards, or a neighbor’s, to purchasing beautifully packaged, mass-marketed foods from all around the world. Though the convenience fits our hurry-go lifestyles, in many ways we’ve become disconnected from the things we eat. It is as if that fruit, vegetable, steak or milk originated in the grocery store display case.
One hundred years ago, notes Heather DiCicco, co-owner of New Life Natural Foods and DiChicko’s Peri Peri Café, everything was organic. And the foods people ate were locally grown. Beginning around World War II, several factors influenced our food supply, such as improved understanding of nutrition, an increased number of women entering the workforce, the interstate highway system, a global economy, a rising world population, government expansion, agricultural advances and more. Consumer demand for a wider variety of foods year-round paired with convenience at a low cost, combined with the food industry’s adjustments to meet that demand, has not only changed the way we eat, but also what we eat, where it comes from and how it is processed.”
LUCY ADAMS
This is part of an article which appears in the January 2012 issue of Augusta Magazine
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Vegetable Couscous

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1/4 zucchini, diced
• 1/4 yellow squash, diced
• Salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, half a palm full
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 /3 palm full
• 2 1/4 cups couscous
• 1 vine ripe plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons each chopped cilantro and flat-leaf parsley
• Mediterranean flat bread, for passing

Method
Heat a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Add oil, bay leaf, onion, zucchini and yellow squash to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, 7 or 8 minutes. Add pumpkin and broth to the pan and stir to combine. Add cumin and coriander. Bring broth to a boil. Add couscous to the broth, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove lid from the pot and fluff couscous with a fork. Remove bay from the pan, add finely chopped tomato, cilantro and parsley, toss again with fork to combine and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with warm Mediterranean flat breads.
 

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