Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Just In-The Mediterannean Diet...Israeli Couscous with Mediterranean Flare!

Move over pasta salads, egg salads and potato salads.  A new summer picnic dish is in town.  And guess what?!  It's not going to go bad in the heat and sun either!  Replace all those heavy, mayo based traditions with a fun, light and tasty couscous salad!  This one definitely does not lack flavor due to the Mediterranean flare of balsamic, kalamata olives and other goodies.  All vegan and made for everyone to love!

There is so much talk right now about the Mediterranean diet.  The main objective is to emphasize healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and to limit your meat intake and moderate your fish and dairy intake.  Of course, this is not as healthy as us vegans, but at least major scientific organizations are noticing the benefits of lowering or removing such foods from our daily diet. With this particular diet, research has shown that it reduces the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular mortality, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.   

Vegan Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad

Israeli couscous is also known as "pearl couscous".  Unlike familiar small, yellow semolina-based North African couscous, this one is twice as big and is toasted rather than dried. This gives it a nutty flavor and a sturdy composition that gives it a chewy bite similar to that of a pasta or orzo.

Ingredients (yields 3-4 servings)
1 1/4 c Israeli Couscous
1 3/4 c water
1/2 eggplant cubed
mixed colored cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 zucchini sliced
1/4 sliced red onion
1/4 c kalamata olives (cut in half)
s + p
garlic powder
1 tbsp evoo
2 tbsp balsamic
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

preheat oven to 400.  In a bowl, toss cherry tomatoes and eggplant in evoo.  Place in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.  In meantime, toast couscous in a small pot with evoo until browned, then add water, bring to boil, cover and simmer 12 minutes.  In a small saute pan, quickly saute zucchini for about 4 minutes (I did not use oil here).  Once everything is cooked properly, add in a bowl and mix.  Add all the seasonings to the salad and adjust accordingly.  Let cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator.

No comments:

Post a Comment