I’ve always loved grains. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”), couscous and Bulgar, in particular, top my list of favorites for their ease of preparation, flavor and nutrition. All are very different but can add variety to entrées, salads or sides.
Quinoa is actually a protein-rich seed that has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and a nutty flavor when cooked. It’s also high in magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Israeli Couscous, made from semolina flour, is larger in diameter than its traditional counterpart and is a low fat source of calcium and potassium. (Next to pasta, it’s my preferred source of carbohydrates, perfect for fueling my long-distance, high-endurance bike rides.)
Bulgur, unlike Quinoa and Couscous, is a whole grain. It’s made from wheat and has a light, nutty flavor. Bulgur is a rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals and is
absolutely delicious prepared oatmeal-style, with dried cherries, almonds and brown sugar, or it can be made savory with the simple addition of herbs and nuts.
In the spirit of National Nutrition Month I created one recipe that can be made three different ways—either with Quinoa, Couscous or Bulgur. Click Here to see how to prepare it, and let me know what you think!
Tina’s Couscous with Raisins & Almonds
2 cups Israeli couscous, cooked and drained
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped, dried apricots (optional)
½ cup almond slivers, toasted
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté minced onion in olive oil until golden brown.
Sprinkle onions with a dash of cinnamon and stir until well combined.
Add raisins and apricots, cooking two more minutes.
Add couscous, almonds and mix lightly until all ingredients are blended.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with parsley and serve.