Hodge-Podge Asian Couscous with Chicken

Stir-fry was one of my first specialties in college. Just dump a bunch of veggies with some “Soyaki” sauce in a pan and serve with Uncle Ben’s quick-cook brown rice. A true dorm room gourmet.

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While my cooking repertoire has expanded beyond my college years, my real estate certainly has not. My sad excuse for a New York kitchen is even smaller than that of my dorm room. So on nights when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to turn my whole apartment into a cooking war zone (pots and pans quickly take over any and ever free surface when making more complicated dishes), I’ll turn to the good ol’ days of a simple stir-fry that only requires a skillet (for the protein and veggies) and a pot (for the rice).

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For this version, I really wanted to amp up the health factor, so I loaded up on vegetables with mushrooms, peppers, shredded broccoli and carrots and added chicken and edamame to pack in the protein. I used brown rice couscous that I already had in my pantry, but you could substitute for whatever grain you have on hand (quinoa, brown rice, regular couscous, etc). That’s what’s so great about stir-fry; you can really do whatever protein/vegetables/grains you have around if you follow the simple procedure (below).

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While I’m yearning for my old dorm kitchen and college-aged metabolism, I’ll settle for this quick and easy stir-fry as a compromise.

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Hodge-Podge Asian Couscous with Chicken 

makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown-rice couscous

coconut oil spray (I got this at Trader Joe’s)

1 lb chicken tenders

10 oz baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange, but you can use whatever color pepper you like)

12 oz shredded broccoli-carrot mix (again, Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup chicken stock

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 cup shelled edamame

1. Cook the quinoa. In a medium-sized pot, bring 1 1/2 cups water and a hefty pinch of salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10-13 minutes then remove from heat and let sit with the cover on for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

2. Spray a large skillet with coconut oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Season the chicken tenders on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook about 3-4 minutes per side until golden. Set aside to paper towels to drain.

3. Add another spritz of coconut oil spray to the same skillet. Add the mushrooms and peppers. Sauté until they start to release some of their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli slaw, edamame, chicken stock, soy sauce and vinegar. Stir so the liquid is evenly distributed then cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the lid and let cook another minute or two to let some of the extra liquid evaporate.

4. Toss the veggies and couscous together in a large bowl. Spoon out a nice portion of the veggie-couscous mix onto a plate and top with 2-3 chicken tenders.

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