Couscous

Summer couscous salad 

This summery one-dish meal won’t heat up your kitchen. Refreshing mint, garlic, raisins, orange juice and couscous give this salad a hint of the Middle East. The recipe uses pearl couscous also called Israeli or Jerusalem couscous. It’s similar to regular couscous made from wheat flour, but has larger grains almost like little pearls. It adds a firmer texture to the dish than using regular couscous.

Helpful hints: Regular couscous can be used. Follow instructions on the package. Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of the market. To keep couscous fluffy, toss with a fork rather than a spoon.

Countdown: Prepare ingredients. Start Couscous. Cook vegetables and complete recipe while couscous cooks. Assembler salad on dinner plates.

To buy: 1 small box pearl couscous. 1 zucchini, 1 15.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chickpeas, 2 small ripe tomatoes, 1 small bunch fresh mint, 1 small head Romaine lettuce, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 small jar minced garlic, 1 package raisins, 1 small container orange juice, 1 package carrots and 1 can olive oil spray.

Staples: Olive oil, ground cinnamon, salt and black peppercorns

Summer couscous salad

Ingredients

1 cup water

1/2 cup pearl couscous

Olive oil spray

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup zucchini cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup canned reduced-sodium chickpeas rinsed and drained

8 Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and torn into smaller pieces

2 cups tomatoes cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

Directions

Pour water into a medium-size sauce pan. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and add couscous. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and place over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and zucchini. Saute 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix orange juice, olive oil and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the cooked couscous and vegetable mixture. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the raisins and chickpeas.

Line two dinner plates with the lettuce leaves. Spoon the salad on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the tomatoes and mint over couscous salad.

Nutrition information per serving: 592 calories (21% from fat), 13.7 g fat (1.6 g saturated, 5.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 19.8 g protein, 105.1 g carbohydrates, 18.5 g fiber, 252 mg sodium

— Recipes by Linda Gassenheimer

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