Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous with Rustic Tomato Chard


Now that we have moved on to the letter "C" I can't seem to pick a veggie. With so many delicious choices I decided last night that I wouldn't choose. Couscous and Chard it is. All summer long my roommate and I were obsessed with a pearl couscous salad that we had been making with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. The great thing about this salad is that you use the juices from each jar to make the dressing. We eat it cold and hot, as a side dish or main course. My roommate added the fried tofu to make it a super filling main dish.

The chard in tomato is super yummy and would go great over pasta or risotto as well as the start of an Italian soup. Chard is so healthy for you, rich in Vitamin K, C, and beta carotene. It's great for bone and lung health, so you smokers should eat up on your chard! For more healthy bennies of chard and other veggies check out World's Healthiest Foods.


1 1/2 cup pearl couscous
5 julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil
8 chopped kalamata olives
1 tbs of sun dried tomato oil (from the jar)
1 tbs of kalamata olive jar juice
1 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 pkg firm tofu cubed into small size
1 half red onion chopped
1 bay leaf

1 bunch of red chard de-stemmed and chopped
1 bunch of swiss chard de-stemmed and chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 half of red onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbs of capers
Mrs. Dash- or Italian seasoning

Start with the couscous.
In a pan with a tablespoon of Earthbound butter, salt, and pepper, saute the onions. When the onions are translucent add the couscous and toast the pearls until they are slightly golden.

Add the bay leaf and 1 3/4 cup of veggie stock. I used a Trader Joe vegetable stock pouch. They are amazing. Think the crystal light go-pouches but full of concentrated vegetable bouillon. They are great to keep in the pantry for sauces and soups.
Bring the couscous to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the water is absorbed. Maybe 15 min or so. Lucky for me my lid is glass so I can just keep looking at it to make sure I don't burn it, which on occasion I still do.

In your frying pan, heat up a tablespoon of the oil from the sun dried tomato jar. Fry the tofu cubes until they are crusty and golden.

Transfer the cubes to a bowl when you are finished.

In your frying pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Saute the rest of the chopped onion, garlic and slowly add handfuls of your chard. Keep stirring the chard into your garlic onion mixture so that the garlic doesn't burn. As the chard cooks it will shrink down so that you can add more. Once the last handful of chard has cooked down add your tomatoes and a bit of garlic seasoning or Mrs. Dash.

Continue to cook the chard in the tomatoes with the lid off.

Once your couscous is ready, add the tofu, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, olive juice, tomato oil and red wine vinegar. Toss a few times to mix up.

We decided that the flavors were so good together that we would plate the chard first and then the couscous over with a sprinkling of shredded asaigo. Either way this was fantastic, vegetarian and super healthy.


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