Sunday, May 22, 2011

Love Dinner - Israeli Couscous with Grilled Summer Vegetables---Up front! This is a vegan dish

I asked for assistance this morning on Facebook to keep me away from the grocery store. I found another product I simply had to try, Israeli Couscous. I bought a lb. of the stuff (in the health food and organic section of the store), scribbled instructions on the tab on how to cook and promptly went home to surf for a recipe. Lo and behold, I find a recipe on the FoodNetwork (Bobby Flay) that looked very interesting. These are the ingredients you will need.

Please note I'm changing it up with the addition of eggplant, mushrooms and feta cheese.

I have named this recipe "Love Dinner" because that is what it is. Be prepared to spend at least 3 hours preparing this dish for the people you love. The washing, slicing, dicing, grilling and sauteing is endless. In addition, I am serving this with artichokes and corn on the cob...a truly vegan dinner tonight.

I love that the end result is topped with Italian flat leaf parsley and basil chiffonade. This couscous is more like a pasta....please keep this little secret in mind the next time you want to make an Italian Wedding Soup or one of those Frog's Eye Salad dishes. This is a pretty dish to serve and very unique---but YOU can make it better.

Don't be fooled into thinking this meal is even healthy just because it can be vegetarian. The proportions and nutritional information are as follows (this is ONLY for the couscous----not including the veggies and dressing):

1/3 cup serving
Calories: 220
Carbs: 46 g
Protein: 8

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup of olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

4 green zucchini sliced lengthwise into quarters
4 yellow summer squash sliced lengthwise into quarters
1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
1 eggplant, sliced into 1" cubes
1 lb. small white mushrooms, cleaned (left whole)
12 cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, 2" dice
1 yellow bell pepper, 2" dice

1/2 cup basil chiffonade
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 TBSP olive oil
1 6 oz. package of feta, crumble

1 lb. Israeli couscous (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 cans vegetable broth, heated
Hot water (in case you need it to cover)

In a small dish, whisk the vinegar, mustard and garlic, slowly add olive oil while whisking until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 of the marinade/dressing over the vegetables and allow to marry for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the grill. I use a vegetable plate made especially for grilling and use PAM FOR GRILLING. Let the grill get between 400 and 450 before placing the veggies on the grill. Turning frequently, grill the vegetables until only just cooked through. Cut the zucchini and peppers into 1/2" dice, cut tomatoes in 1/2.

Heat vegetable broth to boil. Then heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add couscous and toss frequently and allow to toast to a light brown.

My bad on the video..yes it is all shot on my own grill...sorry for the poor quality.

Add vegetable broth to cover couscous, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add veggies to the cooked couscous. Stir in the herbs and the crumbled feta. Add in the remainder of the marinade/dressing and mix thoroughly.

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