Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  




Moroccan couscous with chickpeas, fast-roasted vegetables and almonds
An exotic and colorful Moroccan couscous dish with chickpeas, roasted red peppers and carrot, toasted almonds, and plump raisins. Serve as a hot dish or cold as a salad.

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 carrot—cut into quarters lengthways and thinly sliced
1 red pepper—cut into small pieces
½ red onion—cut into wedges and separated
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic—minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking couscous
¼ cup raisins
1¼ cups boiling chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup canned chickpeas—rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)

PREHEAT the oven to 250°C/480°F. TOSS the carrot, red pepper and red onion in a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and bake for 17 minutes. WHILE the vegetables are cooking, lightly toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until golden brown. REMOVE from the pan and set aside. PLACE the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and salt in a jar with a screw-top lid and shake to mix. FIVE minutes before the vegetables have finished roasting, mix the couscous with the raisins in a bowl and pour over the boiling stock. COVER with a dish towel, plate or plastic wrap to seal in the steam and let sit for 5 minutes. FLUFF the couscous with a fork to separate the grains and stir through the carrot, red pepper, red onion, almonds, chickpeas and cilantro. POUR over the dressing and toss together until well combined.

Variations: Instead of chickpeas, use cooked shredded chicken or canned tuna. The carrots and red pepper can be replaced by sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, or eggplant. Instead of almonds use pistachios, pine nuts or walnuts. Instead of raisins use chopped dates, apricots or prunes. And instead of cilantro use fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint.

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