|Hey, it's better than getting tomato sauce on their pants, right?|
Aside from the potential mess, couscous is such a great food! It's the fastest pasta you'll ever cook (no joke--5 minutes from turning on the heat to fully cooked). I made this recipe while Nerd ate her breakfast and played with stacking cups in her high chair. Couscous also serves as a great base for whatever floats your flavor boat. For the grown-ups around here, we love it with sautéed asparagus and red bell pepper. In this on-the-fly recipe, I go for the bright aromatics of mirepoix (yeah, I'm going French on ya today) with a mild whitefish to satisfy the body's need for omega-3s.
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 green onion or small sweet onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup frozen sweet peas
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked, unflavored couscous (pearl couscous isn't as messy, but as you'll see by my photos, it's not what I had in my cabinets...)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 filet tilapia or mild whitefish (NO BONES!)
- tiny pinches of dried thyme, basil, black ground pepper, and parsley (fresh will work, too, but it's currently winter and they're not growing in our garden...and I hate paying for them in the grocery store...)
Boil the water in a pot and add the couscous. I always cut the heat and remove the pot from the eye as soon as I add the couscous. It doesn't really need to "cook", just soak up all the water. If you find it on the dry side, add more water or even a little bit of flavored broth.
Heat half of the oil in a small skillet on medium/medium high and add the chopped fresh veggies. Allow to sauté to release their aromatics, and then add the frozen peas. The veggies should cook until they are soft enough for your baby's bite. (Note: Toddlers will be able to handle chopped veggies. If your baby is younger than 12 months, you always have the option of putting them in the blender after removing them from the heat.)
|This combo of veggies is great for any season.|
Add the veggies to the cooked couscous. Using the same skillet for the veggies, pour in the remaining olive oil and throw on the tilapia filet. Cook it through, maybe 2-3 minutes on each side. Flake it with a fork (I did this on my cutting board) and mix in with the veggies and couscous. Stir in the dried herbs. Serve warm.
|A little golden oil left from sautéing the vegetables will give the fish a beautiful color.|
Store up to 3 days in the fridge. I'm a little unsure about freezer storage (I just made this today, so we'll see if couscous stands up to the challenge). We've never had leftover couscous before, and making this recipe obviously planned for several meals for Nerd. Here's to hoping it can live on ice.
Nerd thoroughly enjoyed this meal at lunch today. For every pea she saw in her bowl, she excitedly exclaimed, "Ball!" and either shoved it in her mouth or smushed it with her thumb. Lunch and a show for this mom. Taste-wise? Nerd believes that this meal was worth getting couscous butt. ;)
- Other combos your toddler may like atop their bed of couscous: asparagus, red bell pepper, and garlic; carrot, edamame, and leeks; chickpeas, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese; shredded chicken, roasted tomatoes, and Parmesan.
- Try using pearl couscous for a food that's easier for toddler fingers to grab if they like eating off of their tray. Each "piece" of pearl couscous is larger and therefore easier to get on a fork or spoon.