Easy Vegan Dinner – Mediterranean Couscous

It can be useful to really get to know a few of your most favorite recipes and keep them under your tool belt as easy meal ideas or dinners for a busy week night. Vegetables are versatile and cheap, so there are so many simple and delicious recipes out there to choose from and make your own.

Since I first tried this couscous recipe from HelloFresh, I have been hooked and cooking it weekly. It is a cheap, filling, nutritious meal that is easy to serve up even after a long day at work and takes little time to prep. Oven roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and spices along with protein packed chickpeas make this a nutritious vegan dish. You could also serve it alongside some falafel for an even more impressive dinner.

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HelloFresh’s delicious Mediterranean couscous

I have altered the recipe here a bit from the original HelloFresh version to make it vegan, as well as a bit simpler to throw together using staple ingredients you may already have in your kitchen right now. Perhaps this will become one of your favorite weekly dinners as well, or it may make a perfect Valentine’s dinner for two later this month. ❤

You may not be familiar with couscous, and I had honestly never tried it before this recipe either (Thanks HelloFresh!), but it is a versatile and light pasta made of semolina and wheat flour that is now a must have in my pantry. Couscous is a great alternative to noodles or rice in many dishes, and is most often used to make salads or other savory meals. It originated in the North African region, and is a staple in Mediterranean, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a great source of fiber and dense in nutrients.

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There are three main types of couscous; Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese couscous. Lebanese is the largest size of couscous and takes the longest to cook, but the Moroccan and Israeli (or Pearl) couscous cooks quickly, usually in under 10 minutes. For this recipe, we will use the Israeli couscous. It is also my favorite kind to keep around for multipurpose use. I like to purchase the Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Pearl Couscous; you can find it at most grocery stores for under five dollars. 

 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium zucchini’s (or one large one)
  • 8 oz grape or cherry tomatoes (I like the multicolor baby Heirloom tomatoes!)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1/2 a lemon or lemon juice
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1.5 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Earth Balance Vegan Butter
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: Feta Cheese for topping

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425. Wash your zucchini and tomatoes thoroughly. Dice zucchini into small squares or bite sized pieces. Slice your cherry or grape tomatoes down the middle. Slice your lemon in half if needed (you can also use bottled lemon juice) and mince your garlic. Trim, then slice green onions thinly, separating the greens from the whites.
  • Add zucchini and tomatoes together onto a clean baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season lightly with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of thyme.
  • Prepare your chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) by draining and rinsing completely. Then lay out the chickpeas on a second baking sheet, patting them with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Drizzle with olive oil and season with Paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Roast the chickpeas and veggies in the oven together for about 18 minutes, tossing 6DDC5194-419C-4E9C-8B9C-56CAA455921Dboth about halfway through to prevent sticking to the baking sheet. If this is your first time cooking with chickpeas, you may hear them popping loudly like popcorn while roasting. This is natural! Just be careful when you open the oven.
  • While the chickpeas and veggies roast, heat your Earth Balance Butter (2 TBSP) in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the whites of the green onion and the garlic, heating until garlic is fragrant and butter is completely melted.
  • Add 1.5 cups of Israeli couscous to the pan. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat with butter and garlic mixture. Toast the couscous lightly, about 3 minutes.
  • Add 2 veggie boullion cubes to the pot along with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce to low heat. Cook about 8 minutes, until couscous is tender and water is absorbed.
  • Add half of your roasted veggies to the pot with the couscous when they are done. Add a squeeze of lemon juice along with a little more salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Divide between plates and top with chickpeas, remaining veggies, and green onions. Top with feta cheese for an extra bang if desired!

2 thoughts on “Easy Vegan Dinner – Mediterranean Couscous

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