Food, Side Dishes, Travel, Vegetarian

Whole wheat Cous Cous with Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Chickpeas

Nicoletta December 19, 2015

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Organic whole wheat cous cous and yummy mixed vegetables, chickpeas and feta cheese, and you have a complete, balanced and tasty meal.

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It’s still vividly present in my mind our beautiful experience at the Expo in Milan, last summer. It was incredible, we had three entire days to visit as many Pavilions as we could, get to know about their culture, tradition and most of all, food. On our first day, map in our hands, we bought a Passport and each Pavilion, i.e. each Country, we visited, they put a stamp on it. It was so cool! We did a virtual trip around the world in just 3 days! The weather was beautiful, sunny and hot, we walked a lot trying to see as much as we could, but some of the line ups, for some of the pavilions, were just too long and prohibiting. So we missed out a few good ones.

 

 

On our first day, one of the pavilions we visited was Morocco, a beautiful mediterranean Country, whose food we like a lot. Outside, a line up and a picture of their King, inside a miniature almond tree and mandarin tree. Beautiful pictures on the walls, pomegranates hanging from the ceiling, boards that explained their traditional food and customs. At the end of the tour, a little grocery store with some of their products and a restaurant. We decided to stop and eat there so to rest our tired legs and also to savor some of their specialties. Our choice was the beef tajine and a grilled eggplant salad. The flavors in the tajine amazing, blends of spices like curry, coriander and sweetness from cooked prunes, the eggplant grilled to perfection and tossed with olive oil, oregano, and roasted tomatoes vibrant red purred to a velvety smooth consistency. We also bought their organic  whole wheat cous cous, we thought that every time we made it, it would bring back beautiful memories. The most memorable is seeing all cultures  together as one with utmost respect for each other, sharing, eating, learning and just being, and emotions welling inside at the beauty of it all. Peace, an amazing thing…

I love eating cous cous, it is one of my go to when I want something for lunch, either here or when I’m in Rome and I pack it for lunch to have it at work. It is so versatile and you can have endless variations, using whatever vegetables are in season or you have in your fridge, or even adding some meat if you’re a meat lover. To my favorite vegetables: eggplant, red and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, I added chickpeas, love them! Lots of herbs, a generous drizzle of olive oil and in the oven they go, to a roasted perfection.

http://www.sugarlovespices.com/chunky-potato-leek-soup/

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Organic whole wheat cous cous is made from durum flour (whereas the regular cous cous is made of semolina) and is therefore high in protein, is less refined and healthier. Having whole wheat cous cous in your diet, gives you the right carbohydrates, protein and fiber, without giving you the fat and the calories. If you add all those healthy and yummy vegetables, chickpeas and feta cheese, you have a complete balanced and tasty meal. One thing I love about cous cous is that it is so light and easy to digest. Having a huge plate doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and ill, and most of all it is so beautiful to look at. A great side dish also.

A nice, good break from the excesses of this time of the year 😉 .

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Song of the day: “Ship to wreck” by Florence and The Machine.

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Whole wheat Cous Cous with Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Chickpeas

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  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, whole
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 slice ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas
  • extra virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • 1 tsp dried mixed hebs (I used oregano, sage, rosemary)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat organic cous cous
  • 1/4 cup sheep feta, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Spread the vegetables, garlic, onion and chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss (with a spatula or your hand) to coat everything with oil. Spread into a single layer.
  3. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing a couple times until the vegetables are done to your liking.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cous cous into a medium bowl and pour 2/3 cups boiling water overtop; cover with a plate and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff the steamed cous cous with a fork and scrape the roasted vegetables into the bowl, along with the feta.
  6. Plate and serve immediately, while still warm.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 side servings

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2 Comments

  • Reply Angela December 27, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Wow, it’s wonderful that you are able to travel to such fabulous places, traveling is the best, isn’t it? 🙂 and you’re right, this is a great recipe to lighten things up around the holiday season ?

  • Nicoletta
    Reply Nicoletta December 28, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Yes Angela, traveling is the best but factoring food into the mix is even better 🙂 . The cous cous is simply divine, light but oh so flavorful!

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