I came across Israeli Couscous while perusing the aisles of World Market. It’s different from regular couscous in that the grains are slightly larger, and expand while cooking to resemble small pearls. I had noticed a few recipes on other vegan blogs raving about this ingredient, so I picked up a package. The couscous I bought is mixed with orzo and lentils, but it seemed to be about 95% couscous. Here’s a close-up:
Creating this recipe was super simple. I just threw together some ingredients I had in my kitchen, including a batch of spinach that was dangerously close to its prime, but turned out great when wilted. My husband and I both loved this dish and it took under 30 minutes to prepare (thanks to the mini processor I used to chop some of the ingredients).
1 C Israeli Couscous (or you could sub quinoa or another favorite grain)
1 14-oz can white beans (either Cannelini or Great Northern)
2 C spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced (optional)
1 C sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Kalamata olives, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice from 2 lemons
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
vegetable or vegan chicken broth (optional)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1) Cook couscous (or other grains) according to the package directions in either broth or water. The broth will give the couscous a heartier, meatier feel, but if you’re watching your salt intake, it might be a good idea to cook it in water.
2) Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with olive oil, and heat on medium-high. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent.
3) Add the tomatoes, olives, and white beans, and spinach. Cook for about 7 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spices, cook for another 3 more minutes.
4) Stir cooked couscous into the skillet mixture until thoroughly combined. Add extra lemon juice, salt, and pepper as desired. Serve.
I’m so glad we tried Israeli Couscous, as it has become part of our regular rotation. The other night we had it with artichoke hearts, asparagus, and chickpeas. Not only did it take just 15 minutes to make, but it was so filling and flavorful. Hope you enjoy!
PS: Please forgive my poor food photography skills. I’m still learning. 🙂