Saturday, April 12, 2008

a kick ass quinoa and israeli couscous salad (vegan and rather low fat)

1 c Israeli couscous (that’s the big stuff)
1 c red quinoa (you can use the regular as well)
1 c frozen broccoli
1 (sweet) red pepper
½ c nuts (peanuts, pine nuts, almonds with the skins on)
½ c peas
½ onion (you can’t go wrong with a Vidalia)
1/3 c low or no fat raspberry vinaigrette or sun dried tomato salad dressing or just some olive oil and vinegar
1 bouillon cube (vegan)
1/3 c raisins
15 cherry or grape tomatoes
1 block of tofu (use extra firm OR a pre-cooked flavored pressed variety)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Wash quinoa (if you buy it in bulk it MUST be rinsed. Use cheesecloth or something similar.) Put quinoa and couscous in a pot with 3 1/2 cups of water and the bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes with a cover on. Turn heat off and let sit WITH THE COVER ON for 20 minutes. DO NOT remove the cover. After 20 minutes, the grains should have cooked and absorbed the water. Fluff grains with a fork.

While you’re waiting on the grains, put broccoli (you can use fresh OR frozen) and cleaned and seeded and chopped red pepper in a baking dish. You can either spray with non-stick spray OR use a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Salt and pepper it too. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring often. Add the peas after 30 minutes and cook an additional 5 minutes. Let cool

Roughly chop almonds. Put them, the pine nuts and the peanuts in an UNGREASED skillet on medium heat. Stir constantly until you can smell them and see them turn a BIT darker. Pull off heat immediately so they don’t burn. Let cool.

Chop onion finely, cube the tofu and halve the cherry or grape tomatoes.

When everything is cool, place it all in a large bowl; the grains, the vegetables, the onion, the nuts, the tomatoes, the tofu. Add the dressing and stir. Eat immediately at room temperature or refrigerate to serve later.

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