I used to skip the pasta. The empty calories just weren’t worth it to me. Most of the time the pasta was covered in a heavy sauce, or loaded with cheese. The pasta salads were just as bad – saturated in mayonnaise based dressings that drowned out any resemblance of what the pasta originally looked like.
Of course, that was mostly ignorance on my part. Once I started learning to cook with light and healthy ingredients, I realized there were plenty of healthy, flavorful pastas on the market. Even better, there was an equally amazing number of refreshingly light pasta recipes just waiting for me to give them a try.
These days I make up my own pasta salad recipes, and whole wheat couscous is one of my favorite ingredients. I can mix this tiny fun pasta with almost any vegetable and come up with a simple salad that works perfectly as a side dish – hot or cold!
Whole Wheat Couscous Salad
3 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked according to package directions
½ cup pineapple jam, low sugar (or any citrus jam or jelly works fine)
½ can mild green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small lemon, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder, or to taste
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ tablespoon olive oil
1. Combine pineapple jam, chiles, garlic, lemon and zest, 2tablespoons onion and chipotle in a medium bowl. Remove half the mixture to a blender and puree into a sauce.
2. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl with couscous and pineapple mixture. Stir in puree and combine well.
Healthy Cooking Tip . . .
Whole grain pastas provide a variety of health benefits over standard pastas, especially added fiber – a big boost to dieters. There are a variety of whole grain pastas on the market. Look for 100% whole grains or 100% whole wheat pastas if possible. Whole grain blends aren’t typically 100% whole grain, but a blend of a variety of partially refined grains. Most of the products I’ve reviewed clearly state “whole grain blend” or “whole grain.” If you’re unsure, just look at the ingredient information.
Happy cooking and if you get a chance, hop on over to DigiGlyph Transmedia Publishing to check out my favorite salad, meat and egg recipes available on the Nook or the Kindle.
Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 188, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5
Total Fat: 1.62g
Total Carbs: 41.82g
Dietary Fiber: 6.12g
Please see disclaimer for further details. Nutrition information is compiled with MacGourmet. If you find discrepancies, please let me know. It’s important to me that I provide you with accurate information.