As you will see from the photos in this post, I was indulging in a bit of a retro vibe in the kitchen the other day. I think it was this recipe for Couscous Burritos, which were a favorite of mine as a teenager, that inspired the bing on olive green accents. OH, goodness no, I’m not quite old enough to have been a teenager in the 70s when this color of green was in vogue! When I was a teen, it was hot pinks and orange. I probably would have been happier in the 70s.
Anyway…enough of that particular tangent! I really enjoy these fast little burritos; something about the couscous is so unexpected when you bite into them. They are surprisingly filling too as a result of those little pearls of starch. They make the perfect quicky lunch, at home or school or work. Or in the park when you’re playing hooky from one of the above…
The fillings, aside from the couscous (it’s what makes these puppies fun and unique so don’t skip that), can be whatever is in season. Right now I’m getting literally buckets of cherry tomatoes from my gardens and a few green peppers so those immediately went into my burritos. I sometimes add a little scrambled egg for protein. I bet some bits of grilled chicken thrown in would be tasty too if you’ve got some on hand.
The spices are also meant to be played with to a point. I definitely recommend keeping the cumin for the smokiness it imparts to the couscous. Other good choices might be ground mustard, garlic powder, cayenne, rubbed sage, and even saffron. I kept some heat in mine with the red pepper flakes to dance with the southwestern flavors of the liberally applied salsa and Mexican blend of cheese.
In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, these burritos are as fun as funky green polka dots so go crazy with them! Get your kids in on the act – put them in charge of the couscous (it’s so easy so don’t even think about micro-managing) and inspire their inner budding chef. Then they too can start a food blog a few decades down the road and post this recipe with retro photos… what are the “in” colors and shapes right now that would be in those retro photos of the future? Cool blues and greens? Stripes? I’m not exactly up with the trends like I used to be. On thing’s for sure, this old dog likes her old tricks, especially when she’s starving for lunch!
Couscous Veggie Burritos
Adapted from Fresh and Simple Vegetable Dinners
4 eight inch flour tortillas
2/3 C. vegetable broth
¼ t. turmeric
¼ t. fresh ground black pepper
¼ t. salt
¼ t. red pepper flakes
¼ t. ground cumin
2/3 C. uncooked couscous
¼ C. chopped onion
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
½ C. chopped fresh tomatoes
½ C. cooked black lentils
½ C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
Salsa for serving
Heat the vegetable broth to a boil and stir in the spices. Remove from heat and stir in the couscous and cover for 5 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
Fluff the couscous and stir in the chopped vegetables and lentils. Heat a skillet over medium heat and lightly brown each tortilla on both sides.
Assemble the burritos by spooning half a cup of couscous mixture in the middle of each tortilla. Top with cheese and salsa as desired. Roll up, tucking in the ends, and serve immediately.