Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Couscous with Tomatoes, Basil, Scallions: Caring for those who care for your kids.

For CY, my favorite elementary school teacher and all the teachers out there who do it for our children. Thank you.

It's been busy at our house as Daughter #1 has started kindergarten. She has been at school since she was 20 months old so the adjustment of sending her to school wasn't difficult, but as the school year started, I wanted to be more involved at her school. I know, as a former high school teacher, that without strong parent involvement, public education has the high likelihood of failing the next generation of children. The reasons why are numerous and many and not the purpose of this post, but I will make my plea that if you can, you should definitely get involved in your child's school, however small the effort.

I've been in Daughter's kindergarten class once a week helping out since her school started back in July. (She attends a year round school.) The kindergarten day is short, but the things that Daughter's teacher deals with blow my mind. 22 kids in the classroom, all at different levels of achievement, different backgrounds, different cultures and native languages. In addition, there are numerous assessments, tests, and evaluations that need to be completed for every single child in the class. Even after only 1.5 hours of volunteering in the classroom, I'm pretty spent mentally and need a break. Daughter's teacher continues on for another couple of ours before her day is over.

I've always liked to cook and bake things for Daughters' teachers and this year is no exception. Something nice to eat at the end of the teaching day is an gift with an intangible value. It shows love, appreciation and the acknowledgment of your child's teacher's efforts on behalf of your son and daughter. I've baked for Daughter's teacher on quite a few occasions but today I wanted to bring her LUNCH, so I quickly made this couscous salad to bring to her. I topped the one I gave to the teacher with feta, so as to make it more substantial, but this is really excellent without the feta as a side to any grilled or simple protein as the balsamic adds a special flavor. It is simple, comes together very easily but is a wonderful way to show your child's teacher that you care and you want to thank him or her.

Here are a few more ideas of great and easy lunches to bring to the teachers:

Orzo Salad with Tomato, Feta, and Green Onions
Tri Colore Orzo
Curried Chicken Salad (in a sandwich or presented with some crackers)


Couscous with Tomatoes, Basil, and Scallions
Serves 4-6

2 cups boiling water
2 cups dry couscous (I use whole wheat couscous)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (depending on the size)
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup basil, chiffonade

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

In a large bowl, pour in dry couscous, salt and olive oil. Carefully measure out two cups of boiling water and pour over couscous. Give a quick stir and find a lid to fully cover the bowl. Let sit and steam for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile chop scallions, basil and tomatoes and set aside. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Take off the lid of the couscous, and using a fork, fluff up the couscous. Add tomatoes, scallions and basil and drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Toss well.

Serve as a side to protein, or to make it a more substantial meal on it's own, top with feta cheese.

Printable recipe

A bowl of something delicious - who wouldn't want that!

2 comments:

Trendsetters said...

very tasty looking...colorful

Rayna Lynn said...

I've been looking for a good couscous recipe. This might be it.

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