Jazzed Up Couscous

This flavorful “jazzed up” couscous can be served as a vegetarian side dish, or as an entree with the addition of chicken sausage sliced into coins, or shredded chicken, lamb or pork. You can keep it vegetarian by adding crisp cubes of tofu, and make it vegan by omitting the butter and using oil. The leftovers are delicious, and can be served reheated, or at room temperature.

Jazzed Up Couscous

  • 4 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced small (should be about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, or 5-6 dried apricots chopped up small
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley (or parsley with any combination of green herbs, such as cilantro, mint, or dill, added to yield a cup)
  • 1 lemon, cut in half for juicing

For the couscous:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil

Prepare the herbs, vegetables, and lemon first, so they’re ready to go into the couscous while it’s hot.

Bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil.

Add the couscous, stirring rapidly.

Remove from heat, and cover.

Let stand for five minutes.

Fluff with a fork, and then immediately stir in the herbs and vegetables.

Squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over the couscous and stir again.

Cover and let sit for another five minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.

Yields approx. 4 cups

The Unlikely Vegan Dines Out by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

So since last time, I’ve tried some new things – Egyptian food for one – at a place called Pots here in Las Vegas. They have the usual hummus and babaghanoush, but they also offer a tasting menu, and my wife, my mother, and I all tried it. It was excellent. Ive noticed that being Vegan has made me move out of my comfort zone with a lot of foods. Egyptian was never something I would have tried in the past, but I’m glad I did now.

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More from the Unlikely Vegan by Phil Shainmark

I wanted to write some more about the idea of trying something new, or changing the way you think about things. I was talking to my father in law, who is very much not a vegan, and he was saying that it’s strange to think about not eating things you like. And that’s when it hit me: the things we consume, come to define us. For years I smoked, I was a “smoker.” Even after friends started quitting, and restaurants started banning it, I still smoked. I could not picture myself without the cigarette hanging out of my mouth, or in my hand. But when my wife and I decided to quit, we quit.

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The Unlikely Vegan by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

My name is Phil. I’m 37. A husband and a father of 2 kids. My son is 7 and my daughter is 4. We live in Las Vegas. I’m told I’m a big guy at 6’1”/265 lbs. I ride a Harley (though I prefer Honda or Yamaha) and help my father-in-law with his motorcycle business. I have tattoos from my finger tips to the side and back of my head. I’m a gun owning Pagan anarchist who loves meat and cheese. But, after a whole bunch of soul searching and an AWESOME conversation with my cousin Gary, (who is one of the most honest, caring, cool guys I’ve ever met) and his awesome girlfriend, I just couldn’t allow that hypocrisy in my life anymore.

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