Some folks are surprised to learn that I eat meat.
Perhaps I give off vegan vibes. But in all transparency, I LOVE vegan food. It’s delicious and my body appreciates the ease in digestion.
But let’s be clear. I grew up an Omnivore. Often eating meat thrice per day. A lil bacon or sausage at breakfast. Some lunch meat for mid-day. And some chicken or ground beef to end the day. It was the diet I was fed and I didn’t question it.
Until, I started becoming Conscious. Conscious of how food affected our bodies and our planet. That’s when I started to shift from being a regular Carnivore to becoming a Conscious Carnivore.
In this video, I share how even though I became Conscious about what I ate, the shift to plant-based was gradual. And in that process, I still ate meat. But how I ate it was different. No longer were there plates of meat being the main star. Instead, I shifted meat to being a background host to vegetables, like in these Guava Jerk Chicken Kebabs served with Roasted Zucchini Shallot CousCous.
If you’re considering reducing your meat intake, this is for you.
Zucchini Shallot CousCous
A medley of roasted veggies and delicious toasted couscous
- 2 zucchinis, cubed
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup couscous, toasted
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp or sprinkle of smoked paprika
- neutral flavored oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- To make the perfect couscous, it’s best to roast it. Some folks use it as is out of the package . . . that can do. But to ensure maximum flavor, it’s best to dry roast it in a pan first. To do that, take a pan, pour in your couscous and turn the heat to medium. Don’t abandon your pan. Don’t go check on something else. Or take a call or get distracted. It WILL burn without you there to monitor it. This process requires you to be mindfully present. While the fire is on medium, gently move the pan from side to side so that the couscous grains have an opportunity to dance on top of the heated skillet. As they move along, they will begin to brown and their roasted flavor will become apparent. You want them to evolve from being cream to a nice caramel tan. Once they’ve achieved the color and smell, remove from heat and set aside. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Now let’s focus on these veggies. While they can be added raw as is, they are so much better if they get massaged in a little oil and salt and roasted for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. With that said, combine your zucchini and shallots in a drizzle of oil and a touch of salt. Spread evenly apart on non-stick baking sheet so that they can roast evenly.
- While roasting, prepare couscous
- In a bowl add toasted couscous, 1 tsp of smoked paprika and a dash of salt to taste. Mix them before adding your wet ingredients so you don’t get a glob of seasoning.
- Add your boiling water and 2 tsp of olive oil to the couscous mix. Cover with a tight lid so the steam doesn’t escape. This is what is going to “cook” the couscous. I usually use a mixing bowl and cover it with a pot lid that is larger than the circumference of the bowl to ensure all moisture stays trapped.
- Wait 2-4 minutes. Couscous will absorb and transform from hardy granule to soft receptive grain that’s ready to eat!
- But before you eat it, fluff with a fork! This is important. Use upward stroke motions with a fork. If you try to stir or use a spoon, it will become mushy. So to keep integrity of the grains, fluff it with a FORK!
- Now mix in your roasted veggies adjust seasonings and VOILA! Your couscous is ready 🙂
Guava Jerk Chicken Kebabs
A smokey, spicey sweet balanced kebab with chicken thighs and veggies.
- Chicken Thighs, cubed
- Green Bell Pepper, evenly chopped
- Orange Bell Pepper, evenly chopped
- Red Onion, evenly chopped
- Wet Jerk paste
- Dry Jerk seasoning
- Sriracha BBQ Sauce (or your favorite bbq sauce)
- Guava Paste
- Neutral flavored oil
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water so that they don’t burn in the oven or on the grill.
- Season your chicken by pouring a little neutral flavored oil, a healthy dash of dry jerk seasoning and salt. Massage in and let rest.
- Toss your veggies together in a separate bowl with a little neutral flavored oil and let rest.
- Using a blender, blend equal parts bbq sauce, jerk paste and guava paste. I recommend blending first because the guava paste is thick and gunky. This first step will help it break down easier. Add the blended mix into a pot and let simmer until beautifully melded. There are not measurements for this. Use your creativity and taste buds. Make sure you simmer on low heat because the sugars in the guava and bbq sauce will burn if the heat is too high. Once your sauce is perfect, remove from heat and let rest until ready to use.
- Now that you have all the components ready for your Guava Jerk Chicken Kebabs, it’s time to skewer and place on a non-stick baking pan/sheet. If it’s not non-stick, cover the bottom of your baking pan/sheet with parchment paper.
- Once skewered, brush on some of your Guava Jerk sauce and place in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes remove the skewers from oven, ROTATE them and brush on more Guava Jerk Sauce and then cook for additional 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and brush on more sauce (if so desired)!
- Serve with Zucchini Shallot Couscous (see blog for recipe)