About this time last year, my husband and I took a trip to Italy and Israel, which, despite their cultural difference, share a cuisine – Mediterranean. Spending time in the region only enhanced my love for Mediterranean food: the oils, hummus, fresh herbs, pastas, vegetables, olives, to name a few.
Most of these foods are so beneficial to eye health, especially the oils and vegetables. Olive oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevent dry eye syndrome and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. The vegetables in this recipe are full of antioxidants (vitamins A & C, lutein & zeaxanthin) that also protect your eyes. A mix of lightly sauteed vegetables is a great addition to Israeli couscous.
The couscous has some protein and could be a meal in itself, but if you would rather this be a side dish, you could pair it with salmon (see note below) for a double dose of eye-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
- 1 cup Israeli pearled couscous
- 1 ½ tsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for sauteing
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Mediterranean sea salt
- course ground pepper
- ¼ cup zucchini, sliced
- ⅓ of an orange Bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- ¼ cup kale, stems removed/chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Boil 1 ½ cups water in a saucepan. Add couscous, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain any excess water. Place couscous in a medium mixing bowl, stir in 1 ½ tsp olive oil, half of the parsley, and a couple shakes of sea salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Place 1 tbsp oil in a pan on medium heat. Place zucchini, orange pepper, minced garlic in the pan with a couple shakes of salt & pepper. Saute covered for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cherry tomatoes, kale, and the rest of the parsley. Saute covered for another minute or so, stirring at least once. You want the zucchini, peppers and kale to be slightly softened.
- Remove from heat, and place veggies on top of couscous. Drizzle lemon juice and serve!
Note: You can follow steps 1 & 2 of my Salmon Tacos with Peach Salsa recipe to cook 2 salmon fillets seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano.