Saturday, February 25, 2012

North African Couscous Paella

I just made this recipe the other night and it was so delicious I had to post it!  I got it from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook.  For those of you who don't know, Moosewood Restaurant is an amazing vegetarian restaurant located in Ithaca, NY.  We had the pleasure of eating an amazing meal there this past summer when we spent a weekend in Ithaca.  Because it has won so many awards and is world renowned for its vegetarian food and best-selling cookbooks, I thought it was going to be a stuffy, overpriced place and it was exactly the opposite.  It was warm, inviting and the menu (which changes everyday) was so diverse and healthy.  I bought the "Cooks at Home" cookbook when I was there and make dishes from it all the time.  This one was such an easy, healthful, one-pot meal (the ingredient list is a little long but don't worry, it's so simple)...enjoy!

North African Couscous Paella - delicious! 
North African Couscous Paella
serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tbsp oilive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of cayenne
2 cups hot water
1 package spiced dry tofu, cut in to 1/2 inch cubes (you can find this at the Asian supermarket- or just use extra firm tofu, well drained and pressed)
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (I used frozen)
1 cup-quick cooking couscous (I used whole grain couscous)
1 tbsp margarine or butter (I used Smart Balance)
salt and ground pepper to taste
toasted slivered almonds (optional)
chopped parsley (optional - I didn't use because we didn't have any)
lemon wedges (optional)

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan with deep sides.  Add peppers, scallions, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and saute on medium heat for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in hot water.
  • Add tofu and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes, until it is heated through.
  • Stir in the peas and cook for another minute.  
  • Mix in the couscous and margarine or butter.
  • Cover and remove from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes.  
  • Uncover the pan and, using a fork, stir thoroughly to fluff up the couscous to break up any lumps.  
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve topped with toasted almonds and lemon wedges (and parsley if you want to use it)
    • If you have some sriracha sauce laying around and want a little more spice, a squeeze or two of it mixed in is so tasty! 
Nutrition Information (per 8oz serving)
Calories: 264  Fat:  7.2g  Protein:  13g  Sodium: 128mg  Carbohydrates: 36.8g

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