Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is pearl couscous with thyme-scented mushrooms."Here is a hearty dish that reflects the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," says Chef Asata, who provided this recipe. "Homely white button mushrooms are seared over high heat for texture, infused with the flavor of fresh thyme and caramelized in a quick vinegar reduction. People who claim to dislike regular couscous are usually pleased with the texture of pearl couscous, which is larger and closer to rice. And even better: This low glycemic dish is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of fiber and protein."
Pearl Couscous With Thyme-Scented Mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pint whole button mushrooms, cut in half
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
splash balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 cup uncooked pearl couscous
2 medium carrots, small dice
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 cups stock or broth
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes without stirring to get a sear on one side. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and add the fresh thyme. Add the vinegar and cook until mushrooms are tender, then remove from heat.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pot, then saute onions, garlic and carrots until the onions start to become translucent. Stir in the couscous and keep stirring until it gets a bit toasty, then add the stock or broth. Cover with a lid, bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the mushrooms. Serve immediately.
Nutrition info: Per 269 gram serving: 264 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 305 mg sodium, 42 g total carbs, 4 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar and 8 g protein.
About Chef Asata:
Chef Asata completed her degree in culinary arts from the International School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2000 and has been a professional chef for nearly a decade in some of Atlanta’s top-rated restaurants and in private homes. She has been chef at Dish Restaurant, the Food Studio, Nikolai’s Roof (both recipients of the AAA Four Diamond Award) and the vegan restaurant Lush. Asata teaches cooking classes for teens and adults at the Cooks Warehouse in Atlanta.
(Photo: Chicago Tribune/MCT/Landov)