Israeli couscous with tomatoes, arugula and pine nuts

I love Israeli Couscous! It has a nice chewy texture and can mix well with lots of fresh vegetables. It pairs nicely with any protein and looks delicious.

This week at the farmers market I picked up some beautiful yellow organic cherry tomatoes and arugula. Adding this to the couscous was so good!

Israeli couscous with tomatoes, arugula and pine nuts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 1/2 cup sweet white onion  (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 2/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh arugula
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes cut in fourths
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  • In a large pan melt 1 Tbsp of butter and add pine nuts until brown
  • Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside
  • Add 2 Tbsp of butter and onions, cook until translucent
  • Add couscous and bay leaf and stir until brown
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil
  • Cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed
  • Remove from heat and put in a bowl, let cool for 10 minutes
  • Add back the pine nuts, tomatoes, arugula, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle with olive  oil

Sunday at the Farmers Market

I love going to the farmers market on Sunday’s. Sometimes I don’t have much time so I thought I would share with you the vendors I buy from that will get you in and out fast. The trick is to go at 7:45AM and by 8:00AM you can be back to your car with all your goodies. By going early you have the best chance of getting first pick of what you want before everyone else.

I always try to feed my family fresh and organic vegetables each week. I find that even the best grocery stores don’t have the freshest section. I also like to support local farmers.

Today I hit 3 vendors at the Studio City Farmers Market:http://www.studiocityfarmersmarket.com/Vendors.html

 

Givens Farms – https://www.facebook.com/JohnGivensFarm/

I always shop at this booth. They have the freshest section of carrots, greens, tomatoes, beans, etc. The selection is amazing, fresh and affordable. If you juice, this is the place to buy your ingredients.

Today I purchased carrots, green beans, kale, tomatoes, lettuce. I will figure out what I’ll make later this week and post it.

Living Lettuce Farm – They have no website

This is also my go-to vendor. They have the best loose baby spinach, baby arugula and herbs. The herbs last for so long in my fridge! Everything is clean and packed carefully. I highly recommend them!

Today I purchased parsley, cilantro, thyme,and arugula. I’ll be making some sort of arugula dish later this week and will post.

Honey Pacifica – http://www.honeypacifica.com

I love fresh honey, especially from local bees. Its cold season out there and the best medicine for a sore throat is honey and lemon. I also use honey in my apple pies, I love the Orange Blossom Honey. They have such a great selection of all different kinds!

I hope you find this helpful, happy shopping!

 

 

Chinese Chicken Salad Cups

Whenever I’m asked to bring a salad to a party or potluck, my go to salad is Chinese chicken salad. This recipe is so delicious your friends will be asking you to bring it to their next party. I had an idea in my sleep the other night to make them in a wonton cup, so I experimented today and here’s the results. If you don’t want to do it this way, you can fry wonton skins and place them on the top of the salad thats in a bowl.

Chinese Chicken Salad Cups

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

You can add or take out any additional vegetables of your choice. You don’t have to be exact on any amounts, it should be to your liking.

  • 1 package of organic chicken tenders (boiled and chopped). You can also use a cooked rotisserie chicken instead.
  • 1 bottle of Feast from the East Sesame Dressing (this is the BEST dressing)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 head of napa cabbage (chopped
  • 1 large handful of carrots (shredded)
  • 2-3 stalks of green onions (finely diced)
  • 1 large handful of fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 can of sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 handful of snow peas or snap peas (sliced or julienned)
  • 1 handful of cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 handful of sliced almonds
  • 1 package of egg roll wrappers (you can use as cups or slice and fry for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

  • In a large muffin pan (Texas style muffins) use the oil and grease the muffin tins.
  • Put the egg roll wrappers in the tins and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until brown.
  • In a large bowl mix together all salad ingredient
  • Toss with dressing (right before serving)
  • Place in cups to serve

Oil, Muffin Pan and egg roll wrappers
Oil, Muffin Pan and egg roll wrappers

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

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Fruit Centerpieces

A good way to decorate your food table is by making a great centerpiece. I love having edible ones instead of flowers, its just more festive. Fruit centerpieces are a little time consuming but worth it! You can customize this by using cookie cutters to cut out fruit and skewer them. Below are some samples I have done in the past, I hope it inspires you to make one for your next party!

I made this one for a baby shower:

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I made this one for my birthday party:

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I made these  for school graduation:

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I made this one for a 40th anniversary party:

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Sunday and the Farmers Market

It’s been way to long since I visited my local farmers market (shame on me). With it being a zillion degree’s outside I got lazy and opted to shop in the air-conditioned grocery store. Going back to farmers market today I was so inspired by all the beauty of the fresh organic vegetables and fruit. This week I plan on making lots of fresh dinners and a green and red Thai curry. I can make a large batch of curry and it lasts a few days for lunches. Easy, healthy and flavorful.

I will post a recipe for my red curry later this week. For now here is a picture of the green organic chicken curry with lots of fresh veggies from the market today. Typically Thai curry is not made with these vegetables, but who cares its for me and I like it.

Thai Chicken Green Curry with green and yellow zucchini and bamboo shoots.
Thai Chicken Green Curry with green and yellow zucchini and bamboo shoots.  (over multi grain rice)