Retro Lunch

September 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm 10 comments

Open buritto

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. 

Colorful couscous

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.

Burritos overheadSpices

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!

chopped fresh veggies


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.

(makes 4)

couscous burrittos


Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

Corn Out the Ears Sexy Cenouras

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. _ts from [eatingclub]vancouver  |  September 5, 2008 at 12:03 am

    That photo of the couscous is MESMERIZING!
    (Literally! I’m just staring and staring and staring at the screen.)

    How come they’re so multicolored? What are the orange bits?

  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  September 6, 2008 at 9:23 am

    What beautiful photos! Looks and sounds like a great recipe!
    – Martha

  • 3. Jennie  |  September 6, 2008 at 9:23 am

    TS – I hope you’ve been able to stop staring at the screen by now. 😉 The couscous is multicolored in the same way some packages of pasta (spirals come to mind) are multicolored. The package it comes in says “quality durum wheat with sundried tomatoe, basil and spinach”. So oarange must be the sundried tomato infused couscous. The brand is Rice Select in case you’re interested in trying to find some near you.

  • 4. Nikki  |  September 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Hey! this is awesome! So very pretty. This is my 1st time to your blog. I just happened upon…and there you were! I think it’s awesome you’re in Philly making this good food. I’m originally from Philly. I’m a Southern girl now LOL

  • 5. JJK  |  September 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Hey Jennie,
    Just found your blog, it’s gorgeous, and I think we might be kindred souls :o). I am just wondering about the method you used to cook the couscous…did you turn off the heat once you stirred the couscous into the boiling, spiced broth? That seems to be more consistent with the methods I’ve used to cook couscous in the past, but I’m curious if you kept the heat on to keep the water boiling once you stir in the starch.

    Thanks for clarifying!

  • 6. Jennie  |  September 6, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    New comers to the blog! I love it! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Nikki and JJK!! Hope you’ll return often.

    As for your insightful question, JJK, yes, I turn off the heat after I add the couscous. I totally skipped that in writing the recipe, but I’ve edited to be more clear now. Thanks for your eagle eye! 🙂

  • 7. Y.  |  September 8, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been obsessing over couscous lately, so thanks for the recipe! It looks delicious, as always =)

  • 8. Nate  |  September 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    That couscous is so colorful!

    You should enter this into Presto Pasta Nights roundup.

  • 9. Veronica  |  January 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    This was suggested as similiar to my latest post, and this looks even better than what I made! I am bookmarking this!

  • 10. Veronica  |  January 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Doesnt look like you got a link?


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