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Friday, 26 February 2016

Broccoli couscous with ratatouille & chicken (low-carb cooking)

Knowing how I always love to try something new, especially when it comes to food, my mama sent over a Davina McCall recipe she’d tried.

Mama made the cauliflower version, so I decided to make the broccoli version so we could compare stories! It seemed a little random - especially as I was trying to explain it to my (German) friend about how couscous could be formed from this plant.

Broccoli is actually a very good food for you - it contains a special mix of three glucosinolate phytonutrients which support your body’s detox process, it’s fibre can help lower cholesterol, it has a high level of vitamins A and K which help to support vitamin D storage and also is a good source of the anti-inflammatory kaempferol. If you’re super interested, have a read of this article.
We started by prepping the ingredients for our ratatouille (no recipe here - just ‘winging it’). 
We cooked up the aubergines, courgettes...

...peppers, mushrooms, onions…I definitely was getting the chance to work on my knife skills!


Then it was time to prep the chicken breasts - massaging and marinating them in lime juice, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and some high quality olive oil.

 

Whilst these absorbed their flavourings it was time to start the ‘couscous’.

The ingredients are simple - just 600g broccoli, 1 tbsp olive oil and some seasoning, herbs and nuts.

I piled the broccoli florets into the blender...


…and blended until they were crumb-like.


After heating the olive oil in the pan and adding some moroccan flavourings the broccoli breadcrumbs went in.

After a minute of heating through, we added 100ml water and cooked the broccoli for approx 5 minutes.


Once all of the water was absorbed, the couscous was put into a bowl and ‘fluffed’ up with a fork.


As my friend wasn’t convinced by the veggie couscous idea, we’d also made some real couscous to sample along side it and toasted some pine nuts to add to the flavours.


Penultimate step was cooking the now-marinated chicken - they smelt delicious with all the herbs releasing their flavour as the meat was fried.



Last step was to plate up! Check out my attempt at stylish plating...


To garnish we added some mint leaves and a yoghurt and lime juice sauce. Plus a colourful cheery tomato salad.


Doesn’t that look yummy?


Honestly the couscous just tasted of broccoli and needed the ‘sauciness’ of the ratatouille and yoghurt dip to bring it together, but that’s not much different from the real thing so I’d definitely make it again as a tasty and healthy alternative.


Ingredients
(Serves 4)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets, or 600g broccoli florets or a combination
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
Optional Extras
  • whole spices, such as nigella or mustard seeds
  • chopped fresh herbs
  • flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Recipe

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