Around the world with Near East couscous (giveaway)

Three months ago to this day exactly (wow, has it been that long?!) I blogged about a delicious summer dinner with organic grilled chicken, a simple salad and parmesan couscous from Near East. We loved the couscous – it was super flavorful and so easy to make (literally 5 minutes!). If you’re anything like me – that’s a really good combo. If I’m not making a one-bowl dish, I prefer putting my effort into the protein. Side dishes are often an afterthought and end up being kind of boring.

Near East parmesan couscous was delicious on it’s own, but I decided to play around a bit with the second box I hand on hand (I received 2 boxes from the company). I went straight to the Near East website for inspiration where 5 different couscous dishes were featured, each inspired by different cuisine  – all part of NE’s Around the World in 5 minutes initiative (you can even enter their sweepstakes and win a Mediterranean trip for 2!). We just got some lamb from our meat CSA and I decided to give Chef Peter Bowen’s recipe of peppered lamb chops with roasted red pepper & feta couscous a go. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Dinner came together super fast (I love fast yet balanced weeknight meals!)

I am actually still not sure about lamb but I’m trying to like it since Adam LOVES it and well, we now get it through the meat CSA. My first few bites were ok but then I got that gamy flavor and gave Adam the rest. The couscous, however, I could eat a whole package of. Man, it was good! I used Parmesan couscous (not garlic and EVOO as per recipe) and subbed grape tomatoes for roasted red peppers, since that’s what I had on hand. The result was creamy and cheesy couscous with sharp feta bites and a fresh pop from the grape tomatoes. A-mazing!

I was a good girl, though. I ate a reasonable amount and put the rest away. I had “plans” for the leftovers. The plans looked something like this:

Basically I took the leftovers, mixed them with 1 egg, and then with a spoon placed little blobs of it (flattening a bit with a spoon) on a preheated skillet (1t EVOO, on medium high). I was delighted when I successfully was able to flip the couscous cakes with a spatula and noticed a beautiful crust forming. Yay for improvisation! :)

The 2 couscous cakes (I made 4) were served with some random Russian bites from dinner we had at my parents’ yesterday (my mom always sends us off with plenty of food).

‘Twas a good lunch. 😀

Good news for you guys. Near East will send one lucky Healthy and Sane reader FIVE boxes of couscous (one of each flavor featured in Chef Bowen’s recipes). Pretty awesome, right? Here are the giveaway rules:

1) Leave a comment on this post – tell me something fun – are you a couscous lover, lamb lover – maybe your favorite recipes with these? (Seriously, I am still on the fence about lamb – I need a recipe that will “convert” me 😉 Anything goes, though. Just don’t leave a comment like “comment” – yeah, I’ve seen that too. Not gonna fly. 😆

2) If you have a blog, let others know about the giveaway and link back to this post.  If you don’t have a blog, tell someone about this giveaway and let me know that you’ve done so (after they enter the giveaway by commenting). You can also tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name must be included to qualify – that’s @healthyandsane fyi ;) ) *Either one earns you a bonus point*

3) If you have a blog, add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll or follow me on Twitter (if I’m already on your blogroll, let me know – it counts!).  If you don’t, shoot me an email and give me some feedback on my blog. *This also earns you a bonus point*

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I will randomly choose a winner using random.org and announce the winner next Monday, August 23. Good luck! :D

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