Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy


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Cranberry Pecan Carrot Couscous

 A few years ago as I was searching for Thanksgiving side-dish ideas I came across a New York Times recipe for couscous with cranberries, pecans and carrots. I love this dish because it has bright clean flavors that help balance out fatty meals.

Saturday Nathaniel and I had his co-worker and his co-workers wife over for dinner and this was one of the sides I prepared. I doubled the recipe which made WAY more than four adults could reasonably eat at dinner time.

Some of the leftovers made for a great light lunch today.

Tip- Since there is so much chopping involved I suggest you prep all the ingredients before you start making the rest of your meal. If everything is chopped and ready to go this dish only takes another 10 minutes to put together.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous

Salt

2 large carrots grated

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup olive oil (or more as needed)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (or more juice as needed)

1 teaspoon coriander

Black pepper
to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1. Put the couscous in a small pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, or up to 20.

2. Put the slightly cooled couscous in a large salad bowl along with the carrots, pecans, cranberries, scallions, oil and lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle with the spices and salt and pepper. Use 2 big forks to combine, fluffing the couscous and tossing gently to separate the grains. (The salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to a day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.)

3. Stir in the parsley and sage. Taste and adjust the seasoning, moisten with a little more oil and lemon juice as you like, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.


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Curry Tofu Spinach Soup

I wanted to make a quick soup with tofu because we need to start getting more protein in our diet. Per serving this soup has over 28g of protein and about 220 calories.

I used spinach instead of baby bok choy because I realize it may not be easy to get in the mid-west or Europe. However – feel free to use bok choy if you can find it.

Ingredients:

3 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup thinly sliced white onion (about ¼ of a medium onion)

2.5 cups baby spinach

1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms.

3oz. Organic firm tofu (1/4 inch cubes)

¼ tsp. Sriracha (or more depending on your taste)

2 tsp. red curry

Directions:

1. Add chicken stock and onion to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat

2. Once broth is boiling turn heat to low and add sriracha / red curry – stir till combined.

3. Add sliced mushrooms and cubed tofu.

4. Once mushrooms are done (about 2 minutes) add spinach and stir till spinach is wilted and tender.

5. Serve.

(Makes one large serving)


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Soup: Carrot Ginger

Nathaniel and I eat a lot of soup for a few reasons: It’s filling, it can be really low in calories and you can make a whole lot of it at once. Nathaniel takes soup to work for lunch nearly everyday and I usually have the same thing at home.

But- I also really love cooking and trying new recipes.

Yesterday I tried a new recipe for carrot ginger soup from The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. It turned out delicious which is why I decided to share it here.

This soup is even healthier than the lentil soup we usually eat so I predict you will see it mentioned with frequency in the future.

I just purchased ‘The Vegan Table’ (although I am not vegan) because it has great photos and health information for every recipe which makes choosing new and healthy recipes easier than some other cookbooks do. Also – you can always adapt the recipes for your own lifestyle.

For example: I used low sodium chicken stock instead of vegetable stock and the feta was added for the photo but it tasted great on top.

Carrot Ginger Soup

(Yield: 4 Servings)

7 or 8 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

1 large yellow onion, diced or sliced

2 medium yukon gold potatoes quartered

2 tsp ginger minced

2 garlic cloves minced

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

(If you stay true to the recipe and use vegetable stock each serving only has 145 calories and 2 g fat)

  1. Sautee onions in a medium to large put using either butter olive oil or water (water is used in original recipe)
  2. Once Onions are soft add potatoes, garlic, ginger and carrots to the pot.
  3. Pour in enough liquid (chicken or vegetable stock) until vegetables are covered
  4. Simmer ingredients until carrots and potatoes are easily pierced with a fork
  5. Blend all ingredients in a blender till you have a nice thick soup – you can add more stock to thin the soup if you wish
  6. Season to taste and enjoy!