Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fruited Couscous Pilaf

Dried fruits sometimes get a bad reputation because they are dense in calories, but they're really quite good for you - high in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients. It's just a matter of using them judiciously. This couscous dish is beautifully colorful, and versatile. Leftovers keep well and make an easily portable lunch the next day.

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup dried currants, 1/4 cup chopped, dried apricots, 1/4 cup chopped, dried cherries, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and two tablespoons of warm water. Let stand for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout. Drain, discarding the orange juice mixture, and set the dried fruit aside.

Bring 1/4 cup water and one (14-ounce) can of vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the dried fruit mixture, and 1 and 1/4 cups of uncooked couscous. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 8 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl.

Heat a teaspoon and a half of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped green onions and cook for two minutes.

Add the green onions to the couscous, along with 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, one tablespoon chopped mint, one tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a dash of black pepper; stir well to combine. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of pine nuts.

One cup is a side serving of 220 calories - double that for a dinner-sized entree. You could also stir chunks of vegan cheese into this to make it a heartier lunch.

dried cherries $6.99
vegetable broth $1.29
green onions $0.99
mint $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html