Monday, April 11, 2011

Israeli Couscous with Balsamic Glazed Vegetables

I'd like to thank you all of you for your kind comments, thoughts, prayers and emails regarding my surgery. It meant a lot and I don't say this lightly. My surgery went off without a hitch Thursday and I was back home resting that evening. I had a few days of more pain than I expected, but I'm feeling a little better with each day.  I still have to take it easy for a few more days, but didn't want to leave you all "hanging". I'm not ready to hop back into the kitchen just yet, but I made a few recipes ahead of time before I went in for my procedure. So again, thanks to all of you and your support :o)

I love shopping at Trader Joe's and no, this is not a paid advertisement, it just happens to be one of my favorite grocery stores. It reminds me a lot of the stores I grew up with as a kid. Small, neighborhood stores with a fairly limited assortment of products, but yet everything available that you would need. Trader Joe's is like that. I could spend hours walking through that little store, checking out all of the cool and unique products they have. I always check out their flowers and more often than not, I end up with a bouquet in my basket to brighten up my day. Next up, I always have to stop at the cheese coolers, the glorious, amazingly stocked cheese coolers where I usually stand and have to check out all of the mouthwatering and at times, unique flavors. I also enjoy their wine selection and always seem to walk away with a new find. In fact, they do carry a lot of things that you just can't find at an ordinary grocery store and it is also the place where I buy my couscous among many other things. Israeli couscous that is, because my local supermarket likes to be difficult and won't stock it.

Israeli couscous is just one of those interesting foods, that put a little smile on my face every time  I cook with it. I don't know exactly what it is about it, but I guess I enjoy that the texture is quite unique and unlike regular couscous. Many times I turn it into a salad or simply cook it in some chicken broth for a bit of added flavor. This time though, I wanted to incorporate a good amount of vegetables into the dish and not just any vegetables, but balsamic glazed ones. Red and green bell peppers along with onion and baby portobello mushrooms were my choice for this recipe. To make this a true vegetarian dish, I decided to cook the couscous in vegetable broth to infuse flavor throughout. While the couscous cooks, the cut up vegetables are simply sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  They are seasoned with salt and pepper and a final touch of balsamic vinegar made these vegetables a standout. I also made sure to cook them "al dente" since I wanted to keep the integrity of the vegetables intact. Finally they are folded into the cooked couscous before serving.

The end result was such an incredibly tasty dish, that goes well with so many things. Anything from chicken to fish would be wonderful alongside, but it can certainly stand on its own as well. I served this dish hot right out of the pan, but happened to try it once it had cooled down, and it was equally delicious at room temperature. This turned out so well, that my family has already requested this dish again and with it being chock-full of good for you ingredients, I certainly won't have a problem cooking this in the future.

Israeli Couscous with Balsamic Glazed Vegetables 
~makes 8 servings~ 

For the couscous:
1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

For the balsamic vegetables:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced
1 green bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the couscous: In a 2 quart saucepan, saute 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until couscous is lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Slowly add 1 3/4 cup hot vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

For the balsamic vegetables: In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and portobellos and saute until vegetables begin to soften. Season with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook until most of the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated and the balsamic has glazed them, making sure not to over-cook the vegetables. Fold the sauteed vegetables into the cooked couscous and serve immediately or at room temperature.

A Susi's Kochen und Backen Original Recipe


  1. I love Trader Joe's too and could spend forever in there. :)
    This dish looks amazing Susi. I've always wanted to try Israeli couscous but still haven't yet.

    I'm so glad the surgery went ok for you. I hope you feel much better soon. You're in my thoughts. :)

  2. So glad the surgery went well, Susi. I love Trader Joe's too, it's such a fun store. I love their israeli couscous and I love the idea of adding the balsamic glazed veggies to it.

  3. I'm glad your surgery went well and hopefully you will feel yourself again soon! I've never cooked with israeli couscous but it looks like a wonderful recipe.

  4. Hooray for recovery! Glad you're on the road and I hope its a speedy one. This couscous looks phenom. Very pretty :)

  5. Oooh! I saw some Israeli couscous in a healthfod shop th other day but didn't buy it - maybe I should have. This recipe looks delicious!

  6. Oh, oh, oh, I love this!!! Printing off the recipe and will make very soon!!!!

    So glad to hear you are recovering well...I've been thinking about you :)

  7. I'm also happy to hear you're feeling better;-)
    I like shopping at our local Trader Joes store, for a chain it feels like a unique local market. I love the flowers, orchids are my favorite or the daffodils when they have them for 99 cents a bunch! I also like Israeli couscous and often forget to buy it. I'll have to try your balsamic glazed veggies too, such a tasty idea,take care of yourself this week;-)

  8. That is a gorgeous photo of a beautiful casserole. Bob loves Israeli couscous, so I suspect this will soon be appearing on my table. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. Susi this looks amazing. I love that you left the vegetables a little al dente and the balsamic was a nice touch too. I have never tried israeli couscous before but feel inclined to purchase some now. This is a meal in itself or a great side dish to carry me through spring and summer. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I love Trader Joe's but the closest one to me is an hour and a half away. So sad. But this couscous dish is lovely! So glad you're recuperating nicely! :)

  11. this looks beautiful and yummy! i've been looking for an excuse to try israeli couscous... thanks!

  12. This looks so good. I really like israeli couscous and this dish looks like a perfect way to use it.

  13. So glad you're feeling better, Susi! Love Trader Joe's and Israeli couscous. I can get the couscous here in Texas, but not TJs. I'm a true foodie...when we visit a city with TJs? I take an extra soft-side bag and bring back our favorite goodies! My next TJs visit will be in Chicago in not too much longer!!

  14. How beautiful! Israeli couscous is just about the coolest thing ever. And Trader Joe's sounds so fun! I'm incredibly jealous to not have one anywhere nearby. :D

  15. Glad to hear that you are on the mend. I love Trader Joe's, too. I've been going there for several years now, so I know all of the people that work there.

    I've never made Israeli couscous, but I'll look for it on my next trip to TJ's.

  16. I've never had the pleasure of visiting a Trader's Joe, we don't have them in Canada (I do go to Whole Foods if it's similar) and I've also never had Israeli couscous. Your dish looks beautiful, so fresh, healthy and delicious! I'm so glad you're feeling better Susi, I bet you can't wait to get back into the kitchen. :o)

  17. filling delicious meal looks colourful

  18. Your couscous looks beautiful and delicious. I hope you got some good meds to help you through the pain? ;-)

  19. Not sure how I missed your last post... Glad to read the surgery went well. I hope you heal fast and are back to doing what you love real soon. The couscous looks great!

  20. I'm glad you're doing well! I'm so impressed with this recipe, it really is beautiful. I've not tried Israeli Couscous. I'll have to find some, I really love the look it gives your dish.


  21. I went in search of Israeli couscous over the weekend and did not find any. It is now on the list for my next trip to the cities. Plus I have now saved this delicious recipe to cook as soon as I have the ingredients, thanks for sharing with us and hope you continue to heal well.


  22. I'm so sorry to hear you're in pain, but I'm glad your surgery went well and I hope you feel much better very soon! Sending get well wishes and prayers your way!

    So many of my favorite things in one delicious post! I adore Trader Joe's... :-) and Israeli couscous is so much fun - I love the way you describe it as a happy food! :-) Your recipe looks heavenly!! So fresh and perfect for spring!

    SO cool that you used to live where the Rauchbier is made!! :-)

  23. So glad the surgery went well and you are feeling better. I'm their biggest fan, I could do a commercial I know the products so well. Lol

    I love that couscous, I especially love stopping by the sample stand.

    Hope you feel better each day.

  24. I don't have any Israeli couscous in my cupboards but I am infinitely more curious now!!

  25. This looks delish! The colors are gorgeous.

  26. So glad to see you back, Susie. Such a relief that everything went well with your outpatient surgery. Lora is doing much better now, from her major surgery. Thank you so much for your kind words and caring:D

    The only place they carry Israeli couscous in my area is Whole Foods, and with the price of gas these days, it's cheaper for me to order in online, rather than drive 20 miles out of my way. I wish we had a Trader Joe's in S. Florida!

    Your balsamic glazed Israeli couscous is so vibrant with gorgeous colors, and so delicious as a side dish, or by itself. Love it!!!

  27. I am really glad your surgery went alright! Now rest and take care of yourself!
    Your Couscous look fantastic, it has everything that I love and plus wonderful colors!
    Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  28. So glad the surgery went well and like Sandra said, rest and work on recovery now! I am a Trader Joe's lover too and adding the balsamic veggies sounds like a wonderful idea. Looking forward to giving this a try!

  29. I am glad you are recovering well from your surgery.

    That dish looks so delicious. I bet it would be good cold or warm, too.

  30. Hi Susi-I'm happy you had a successful surgery. I hope you are feeling better. Wish we could hang out together eating cake and some of this AMAZING cous-cous! (((hugs))) thinking of you!!

  31. what a relief to hear your surgery went well and you're home. hope the recovery goes fast.
    I love israeli couscous and usually add it to my veggie salads or even to soups instead of pasta.
    your balsamic glazed veggies look great. thanks for sharing

  32. I am glad the surgery went well! And I'm glad that your glazin' veggies! They look beautiful and I'm sure they tasted amazing with this couscous!

  33. I am so glad to hear that your surgery went well. I've been thinking of you, and I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery. This couscous dish looks colorful, flavorful and nutritious. A home run! Thank you for sharing it with us tonight. I hope you have a week of healing and love.

  34. Susi, I am so pleased to know that everything went well.
    I would love this for lunch! Looks totally yummy and healthy!

  35. This looks fantastic. I recently made something similar, except with chick peas instead of couscous.

  36. I love Trader Joe's, too. Their ingredients are great for the price, and it does always have that small, down-home market feel to it for some reason. Your couscous looks delicious, too. What great photos!

  37. Susi, I just found you and tonight, your Israeli Couscous is on our table. Thank you so much. I will be back. Danke!! Susan

  38. I'm so happy that your recovery is coming along... it's always hard for mom to be laid up.
    I do 95% of my shopping at TJ's!! I'd actually love to work there, only they won't work around MY schedule!! ;) The Israeli Couscous is one of my favorites from the store as well and I always have a box in my pantry. I made something similar to this last year but it was with Orzo and didn't use the balsamic. I'm really loving this one. Nicely done Susi (as always!!)
    On another note... have the proms happened yet???

  39. I'm glad everything went well Susi! Wishing you a speedy recovery. I love couscous! This is exactly how I like it - packed with veggies. Looks wonderful.

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