Tag Archives: fiber

Fun With Couscous! (revisited)

(This post was previously published several years ago but I thought it was worth repeating…Enjoy!)

Yes I said “fun with couscous”. Recently I discovered Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous. I had seen it in a recipe some time ago and had a hard time locating it so I gave up. Then I was in my favorite Italian grocery and came across it. It was also a BOGO so I bought it! Of course by now I couldn’t remember or find the recipe I originally wanted it for! But it didn’t matter, I was all about finding a new recipe or recipes. For those of you who say you don’t like couscous, this is a great variety to try. It’s much larger than normal couscous and had a wonderful silky texture. It’s not grainy like the regular variety.

First time I made it I served it cold! I had some leftover tomatoes and cucumbers and made a Mediterranean style cold salad with it. It was a huge hit! I served it at a barbecue at my house and people were asking for 2nd and 3rd helpings! So of course I’ve made it several times since!

Not to get into a rut with my new-found side dish I decided to make a hot side dish last week. This time it came out like a creamy cheesy risotto! OMG it was incredible! And it only took about 10 minutes to make! Did I mention this couscous only takes 8-10 minutes! No constant stirring, no long drawn out process, just a quick and easy side dish that you can add ANYTHING to. I’ve even added it to a soup instead of noodles! I am all about the couscous these days!!

It’s possibilities are endless! So today I am going to include both my cold recipe and my hot risotto style recipe. Enjoy and go buy some couscous!

Recipe #1:

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1 ¼ cup liquid (water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc)

Chopped tomato, about ¼ cup(remove seeds and insides, gets too watery)

Chopped cucumber, about ½ cup

1 cloves garlic, minced (or you can use garlic powder)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

t teaspoon dill (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1: Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overflow. Stir occasionally.

2. When the liquid is all gone, drain and rinse well under cold water.

3. Add rest of ingredients, mix well and add a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Mix again and chill.

4. When ready to serve place in serving bowl and drizzle a little more EVOO over the top and mix.

Makes 2-4 servings

Recipe #2

Couscous Risotto

*This recipe I used what I had leftover in the fridge to add to the couscous. I had made broccoli rabe the night before so I chopped it up and used that. You can also add chopped mushrooms or anything else you wish. Even change the cooking crème variety. Make it yours!

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1¼ cup liquid (water, broth, etc.)

leftover veggies, chopped well

Few tablespoons Savory Lemon & Herbs Cooking Creme (Philadelphia brand)

¼-½ grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. When liquid is gone, keep heat on low and add the veggies, cooking crème and parmesan cheese. Stir well till heated through.

3. Serve immediately.

Makes 2-4 servings

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Fun With Couscous!

 

Yes I said “fun with couscous”. Recently I discovered Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous. I had seen it in a recipe some time ago and had a hard time locating it so I gave up. Then I was in my favorite Italian grocery and came across it. It was also a BOGO so I bought it! Of course by now I couldn’t remember or find the recipe I originally wanted it for! But it didn’t matter, I was all about finding a new recipe or recipes. For those of you who say you don’t like couscous, this is a great variety to try. It’s much larger than normal couscous and had a wonderful silky texture. It’s not grainy like the regular variety.

First time I made it I served it cold! I had some leftover tomatoes and cucumbers and made a Mediterranean style cold salad with it. It was a huge hit! I served it at a barbecue at my house and people were asking for 2nd and 3rd helpings! So of course I’ve made it several times since!

Not to get into a rut with my new-found side dish I decided to make a hot side dish last week. This time it came out like a creamy cheesy risotto! OMG it was incredible! And it only took about 10 minutes to make! Did I mention this couscous only takes 8-10 minutes! No constant stirring, no long drawn out process, just a quick and easy side dish that you can add ANYTHING to. I’ve even added it to a soup instead of noodles! I am all about the couscous these days!!

It’s possibilities are endless! So today I am going to include both my cold recipe and my hot risotto style recipe. Enjoy and go buy some couscous!

Recipe #1:

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1 ¼ cup liquid (water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc)

Chopped tomato, about ¼ cup(remove seeds and insides, gets too watery)

Chopped cucumber, about ½ cup

1 cloves garlic, minced (or you can use garlic powder)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

t teaspoon dill (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1: Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overflow. Stir occasionally.

2. When the liquid is all gone, drain and rinse well under cold water.

3. Add rest of ingredients, mix well and add a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Mix again and chill.

4. When ready to serve place in serving bowl and drizzle a little more EVOO over the top and mix.

Makes 2-4 servings

Recipe #2

Couscous Risotto

*This recipe I used what I had leftover in the fridge to add to the couscous. I had made broccoli rabe the night before so I chopped it up and used that. You can also add chopped mushrooms or anything else you wish. Even change the cooking crème variety. Make it yours!

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1¼ cup liquid (water, broth, etc.)

leftover veggies, chopped well

Few tablespoons Savory Lemon & Herbs Cooking Creme (Philadelphia brand)

¼-½ grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. When liquid is gone, keep heat on low and add the veggies, cooking crème and parmesan cheese. Stir well till heated through.

3. Serve immediately.

Makes 2-4 servings

Italian Chicken Chili Alfredo

Boy that’s a mouthful! I was trying to come up with a simple title but couldn’t. Originally when I made this I was going for a regular chili with chicken instead of ground beef. As I went along I kept changing my mind. I had also  just bought a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce and thought it would make a tasty addition. The sauce is a new product for the Classico line of sauces. It only has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in ¼ cup. Compared to over 110 calories and 10 grams of fat for the same amount. It was really good and I didn’t feel bad about eating it!

I also added two kinds of beans to this recipe, white canellini beans and black beans. Another item I always have on hand in my freezer are those pre-cooked chicken sausages. They are really very good and lower in calories and fat. I usually have the Italian style which is what I used in this recipe. The chicken breast I used was the Perdue portion sized boneless breasts. They come in those individually wrapped packages. They were on sale and I had a coupon! I used the white wine and garlic seasoned ones but you can use any kind you want.

This was a great protein, fiber-filled meal. My husband really liked it and I can make it again so it’s a winner! Great for the fall or when you want an easy dinner. Leftovers are even better! If you want you can even add rice or pasta to the dish to stretch it even more. It’s up to you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped (use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound or so), cut into bite size pieces

2 Italian Style Chicken Sausages (precooked kind)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 small-medium tomato, chopped small

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 jar (15 oz.) Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside when browned and mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan add the onion and garlic and sauté, on medium heat, till soft, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add the mushrooms, sausage, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4. Add the tomatoes and stir in. Add the beans and continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

5. Add the alfredo sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Mediterranean Dip With Toasted Pita Chips

This dip is a little bit Greek and Italian, hence the Mediterranean reference. It’s a much healthier dip than the ones laden with mayonnaise and sour cream. Not that those dips aren’t good, it’s just that we can’t eat them all the time. This dip uses canellini beans which have fiber, a good thing. It can be served with toasted pita chips or crostini, or any sturdy chip. I will also include a recipe to make your own Toasted Pita Chips. It’s so easy! And if you use the low carb pita chips you can save more calories and add more fiber! But if you don’t have to worry about calories or fiber go all the way with the full fat stuff! (I wish I could!)

DIP

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (15oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 ounces feta cheese (I use light Feta)

1 container (6-7 oz.) plain Greek-style yogurt (any brand is fine)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

1 large clove garlic, minced

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor put the beans, feta cheese, yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.

2. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped dill. Season with the salt and pepper as you like.

Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 2 cups


TOASTED PITA CHIPS

INGREDIENTS

8 Pita Rounds

olive oil

dried oregano

garlic powder

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Split the pita rounds horizontally, then cut each piece in half. Or just cut into wedge shapes and separate the pita. Depends on how big you want the chips

2. Brush with olive oil and season with the oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

**UPDATE: 7/12/10** I just made this dip and chips. Delicious! So tasty and the chips came out great! Though I may have put too much salt on them, but then again, I love salt.

Tuscan-Style Cannellini Beans

This dish is a very popular dish in most restaurants in Tuscany or any Italian restaurant here in the United States. It’s simple and delicious. It’s got lots of fiber too which we all need these days. This version is also much lower in calories than the version in restaurants. I made it the other day and it was really good.

INGREDIENTS:

4 teaspoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried

1 cup canned diced tomatoes (I used the Fire Roasted ones)

1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

¼ teaspoon salt

black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

Parmesan or pecorino cheese for topping, if desired


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium saucepan heath the oil over medium-low heat. Saute the garlic, sage and rosemary until the garlic turns pale gold, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes; raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally 5 minutes longer.

3. Add the bean, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and vinegar. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

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