Now that Griffin’s home from college for the summer I’m spending even more time in the kitchen, because my boy is always hungry. His constant noshing results in frequent trips to the supermarket – I send him to do the shopping or I’d never get any work done.
Yesterday – like clockwork – he proclaimed fifty minutes after he’d finished his last meal, that he was “starving.” It went like this: “hey mom, I’m starving and there’s nothing to eat,” he said as he stood staring into the refrigerator. I walked over and stood behind him and looked for myself, and said, “G, we have cucumbers, peas, mangoes, watermelon, red kale, spinach, and a ton of other fruits and veggies.” And he said, “Fine, can you make me some good vegan food please?”
So I did. I made him some good vegan food, which by the way, wouldn’t be called “good vegan food” if I wasn’t a vegan, it would just be called good food. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Since my son seems to have a bottomless pit for a stomach I thought it would be smart to make him something that would stick with him for a while, but would also be quick and easy for me to make. I bought a container of this pretty tri-colored pearl couscous a few weeks ago to make a recipe for the blog, so I prayed that this recipe would work out so I could kill two birds with one stone and photograph it as I made it. Who made up that phrase, and why would I say it? I’ve got to think up a new way to describe getting two things done at once in a creative, non-violent way. Any ideas?
While the couscous simmered I started pulling out foods that would complement the orange and green pearls of pasta, and, would taste good together. I wanted something that would taste like summer (fresh and light) but would also have a nice kick to it. Boring and bland won’t cut it in this household.
When I finally narrowed down my ingredient list my kitchen counter was covered with peas, cucumbers, mangoes, a red onion, peanut butter, peanuts, coconut flakes, a lime, red pepper flakes, coconut palm sugar, soy sauce, and fresh turmeric. So pretty!
My mind works in mysterious ways; I wish I could explain it. I went from not having a plan, to having a plan, but I don’t know how, where, or why my plan manifested into this rocking recipe. I knew that I wanted something that would keep Griffin satisfied for at least an hour. I knew that I wanted something fresh and light. I knew that I wanted it to have some heat. And, I knew that I wanted the colors to coordinate with the couscous. Aside from those qualifications, I can’t tell you how I decided on a spicy peanut sauce, it just happened.
This happened, and you’re going to be really happy that it did, because this spicy peanut pearl couscous salad is pretty darn good. Not only did G eat a few servings, so did I. If I could have lived with myself I would have licked the bowl clean, but that would have resulted in flashbacks of myself hunched over a bowl, crazily glancing sideways (for fear someone would see me) while lapping up the leftover peanut sauce on the side of the bowl. So not pretty. I didn’t need that vision flashing into my head at odd moments. Thank goodness for my willpower or I would have haunted myself.
If you’re looking for a healthy, light, summery, fresh, spicy, and slightly creamy pasta salad that’s easy and quick to make, this spicy peanut pearl couscous salad is for you. You can turn the heat up or down if you add the pepper flakes slowly. Go ahead and customize it to suit your taste.
You can serve this as a meal or a side, and it would be a fabulous dish to take to a summer party. Make it and then come back and tell me what you thought. I love getting your feedback.
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Some of the ingredients I used.
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