Peri Peri Veggies and CousCous

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During the summer of 2011, I was fortunate to travel with a lovely group of ladies (and one guy, Jay!) to the beautiful country of Botswana. When in Botswana, we would regularly dine at a restaurant named Nandos. Nandos was known for its “Chicken PeriPeri” a dish so spicy and hot that it made us sweat, even though it was the middle of winter! (Botswana is in the southern hemisphere, so their seasons are aptly switched. Contrary to prior beliefs, it was actually fairly cold in Botswana! The heat of this dish was welcome!)

Recently I ran into a woman from Botswana while out and about downtown Orlando. What a small world! While reminiscing about Botswana cuisine, I learned that there was an international food store near downtown that sold PeriPeri sauce! I finally made it down to the International Food Club today, and was completely psyched to find PeriPeri sauce from Nandos!!! Hooray!

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Since I am now a vegan, I obviously did not recreate the Chicken PeriPeri dish…I did use what I remembered from the food though and created the following dish.

PeriPeri Veggies and CousCous

1 green bell pepper
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 zucchini
2 small squash
generous handful of mushrooms
3 tbs wild herb peri peri sauce
olive oil for the frying pan
1 cup dry couscous

Cous Cous expands a lot…I used 2 cups and it yielded five cups of cooked couscous, so I recommend only using one in this recipe. 1 cup of dry couscous for every 1 1/4 cups of water. Boil the water first, add couscous, cover and simmer. You should rinse the couscous first until the water runs clear as to get rid of any gunk that may be in the mixture. Once the couscous has absorbed all of the water, remove from heat and allow to sit.

While the couscous is cooking, dice all of the vegetables! place in a container that has a lid and add 3 tbs of peri peri sauce. Cover and shake until everything is coated! Place in a frying pan with some olive oil and garlic and cover. Stir intermittently until vegetables are to a desired tenderness!

Note: My ‘large’ frying pan was too small to hold all of the vegetables, so I had to cook this in shifts. This recipe makes ALOT of food. I did not, however, want to place “half of a pepper” in the recipe. Also, leftovers rock!

Once the veggies are done, place couscous in a bowl, add vegetables and enjoy! I added more periperi sauce for an additional heat, although it is already quite spicy!

While I give this recipe multiple stars for the reminiscent factor, it is actually quite good! Kristina agreed, as she benefited from my cooking skills.

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