Garden Pesto Couscous

Fresh summer flavors!: Juicy veggies, salty feta cheese, earthy pesto and a hint of lemon!

This is the kind meal everyone needs in their recipe collection. The kind you can throw together and have on the table in under 20 minutes. And I have to admit, I was almost unreasonably pleased with myself after I finished making this. I was so in love with my dinner, in fact, that I decided to go for seconds (read thirds) instead of dessert. That’s just unheard of.

Now until last week, I had eaten couscous at just about every potluck I went to, but never dared to cook it myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I love it, but somehow couscous just never ended up on my grocery list. That is, until now! And O.M.G., what have I been doing with my LIFE!? This stuff is amazing. Unlike pasta, there is no pot of water that keeps boiling over, you don’t have to intermittently fish for a piece to check if its done and there is no draining off the water in the end. You just pour hot water over it, pop a top on it and in less than 10 minutes it is done. One stir and its fluffy, glorious and read to be seasoned up.
I added lightly sautéed tomatoes and zucchini. My very FIRST homegrown zucchini – a big accomplishment for a girl who hates to be near bugs and lives in a place where it seems to constantly rain. While the veggies are low in calories, they provide your body with vitamin A and C as well as potassium. To make the dish more of a meal instead of a side, I added chickpeas, which boost the fiber and protein content of the dish and in turn keep you full longer and maintain your blood sugar levels.

Garden Pesto Couscous

Serves 4.


11/2 cups couscous, dry
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 Tbsp. basil pesto
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
2 spring onions, sliced
Juice 1 lemon
6 oz. low-fat feta
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 garlic clove (optional)

Garnish: Pine nuts, fresh basil


1. Boil 2 cups of water. Put couscous into a pot and pour 1 1/2 cups of hot water into the pot and cover. Set aside for 10 minutes.

2. In a large non-stick pan, add oil and sauté zucchini for 3-4 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.

3. Add pesto, chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, green onions and couscous. Toss, crumble in feta and season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with pine nuts and fresh basil.


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