I’ve been eating and posting more healthy meals lately. I usually do this to counteract the holiday indulgence between Thanksgiving and the new year. The inspiration from a menu item at The Green Dog Cafe. Theirs starts with quinoa, and has roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, golden raisins and pine nuts.
I thought I would use quinoa, but I had an unopened box of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Couscous in my pantry, so it was the winner. Plus, a serving size contains seven grams of fiber and eight grams of protein… definitely healthy. Also, I’d purchased some local Habanero honey recently and thought it would work well with the flavors I was planning.
For some reason at the store today, I decided to add pomegranate. I wasn’t sure in my head how it would work, but I’m really glad I tried it. The bright flavor of the ruby-red seeds really liven up the earthy and rich components of the kale and sweet potatoes. Plus, pomegranates were on sale, four for $5… and I got a ton of seeds out of just one. It was way better to purchase fresh and seed them myself than to buy a jar of just the seeds. If you’ve never done it, just halve the pomegranate and then gently peel the skin away from the jewel-like seeds. The seeds pop out pretty easily after the skin has been pulled away. So good!
So here it is, a healthy and quick to pull together couscous bowl to get you through the winter. I can’t promise that it will help keep your pound or so off, but this is at least one of the things I’m eating to try and keep it off myself!
Winter Couscous Bowl
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 2 cups water divided
- 2 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- 12 oz kale I purchased the pre-washed and cut kind in a 16 oz. salad bag
- 1 fresh pomegranate seeds only
- feta cheese optional
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the peeled and diced sweet potatoes with 1 T. oil, honey and cinnamon. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until fork-tender. Stir at least once during cooking time. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant. Make sure to check them frequently, so they don’t burn.
- After the pine nuts have toasted, remove them to a glass bowl. To same saucepan, add 1 cup water, 1 T. oil and 1/2 t. salt. Bring to a boil, add 1 c. of couscous. Remove from heat, stir well, cover tightly with lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and cover until ready to use.
- While couscous is cooking, heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup water, kale and 1/2 t. salt. Cover pot and steam for 5 minutes. Uncover pot, stir well and cook for 5 more minutes, or until kale is nice and tender. It will shrink greatly! Remove from heat and drain the water off the kale. Stir the couscous, sweet potatoes and pine nuts directly in the stock pot with the cooked kale.
- Divide the mixture evenly among four bowls. Serve each bowl topped with pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta cheese.