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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eating Better for less.....Roasted Pepper Chickpeas Couscous Salad.

Healthy eating should not always be at exorbitant price.Its feasible to prepare decent nutritious meals everyday even on a modest budget.Considering the health costs of unhealthy diet in the long run its wise to invest a little now and avoid all the trouble later.
Here are some ways to eat better for less money :

*Eat Seasonal and Local Foods :The seasonal and local grown produce is always cheaper.Berries ,melons and stone fruits in summer,some fruits like apples,pears,bananas and oranges are available year around.In fall the overwhelming stock of pumpkins and squash can provide the much needed antioxidants for the season,and never throw away the seeds ,its rich in nutrients.

*Pay Less - buy economical foods
Beans and legumes are one of the most cheapest and nutritious source of food.Frozen beans like Edamame(baby soybeans) are a good choice of cheap nutrition.Buy them in bulk for lower price.Low fat milk ,Tofu and Organic eggs are other good sources of protein at no high cost.And among vegetables,the carrots,leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage,
sweet potatoes,potatoes,green peppers,tomatoes
are fresh and affordable through the year.Buying bread from a local bakery can be lesser in price.Besides Rice whole grains like Oats,bulgur(broken wheat),barley and corn meal are most affordable.Nuts like peanuts and walnuts are cheaper than most other nuts.Cashews and Almonds are also cheaper when on sale.The whole grain pasta and couscous is one of the inexpensive staples.


*Shop smart :Plan your meals ahead and always make a list while grocery shopping include healthy snacks like Dried fruit and nuts mix,low sugar multigrain bars and whole grain crackers. Don't shop with empty stomach that often tempts us to buy ready-to eat foods like high sugar\high calorie candy,soda and chips.Coupons can also save a few bucks.

*Plant your garden:Use the space in your back yard.Vegetables like tomatoes,eggplants,beans,Okra,lettuce,spinach,cilantro,mint and peas can be easily grown with little effort.Here is the guide for the beginners.Even if you don't own a backyard,use the space in the patio or balcony,plant herbs ,tomatoes and leafy greens in pots.


Roasted Pepper Chickpeas Couscous Salad.

Rice and Beans doesn't always have to be the most frugal meal,use combination of flavors and foods to make food interesting.I used very common and affordable ingredients for the salad which can be a meal in itself.Barley or Bulgur wheat can also be used instead of couscous.Canned chickpeas are easiest way to add protein to your meal.Use any combination of fresh or dry ,herbs and spices in stock.

Recipe
Makes 4 servings of Salad or 2 servings of main dish.

Ingredients

2 cups Couscous(or Bulgur wheat or barley)
2 Green Bell Peppers
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup frozen cooked edamame(Baby soy beans),thawed
1/2 medium onion,finely chopped
1 medium ripe tomato ,chopped
1 cup greens chopped(I used turnip greens)
1 teaspoon spice mix of choice(I used a combination of chili powder ,turmeric and cumin )
Use any chopped herbs for garnish.

Method
Roast the peppers as in this recipe,peel the skin and remove the seeds.Either chop or mix in the salad or use them as serving bowl depending on the size of the peppers.
Prepare the couscous by heat oil in a medium pan,add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes,add the spices and 2 cups of water.Bring to a boil,mix in the couscous ,turn the heat off ,cover and allow the couscous to cook.
After 10-15 minutes uncover and fluff the couscous using a fork.Mix in the cooked chickpeas,edamame,chopped tomatoes and greens.Add chopped roasted peppers or serve in the peppers.

The salad is my entry for No Crouton Required,the theme of the month is Frugal .

36 comments:

Divya Vikram said...

This is a great post with lots of ideas to make a meal at a low price! I love couscous salads! I add cucumbers and tomatoes to it.

meeso said...

Ah, stuffed peppers are great... nice stuffing, looks awesome!

Priya said...

Brilliant post, very useful for many of us..Lovely couscous salad Yas!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great post!

That salad looks really healthy and delicious! i'm a sucker for peppers and chickpeas...

Cheers,

Rosa

Cham said...

I love the coucous salad, that is full of great ideas!

Pavithra said...

Looks so yumm and I too do this.. so healthy ..cooling colors for eyes and also yummy.

Shri said...

That is a great presentation Yasmeen:)The couscous salad looks delicious and a great post indeed!

Gita said...

You have given some great ideas here Yasmeen...love the presentation of the salad in a bellpepper bowl :)

Arabic Bites said...

Great post Yasmeen ...love it :)
I agree on not to shop with empty stomach I often shop when I finish my class & make unhealthy chooses :D
I really need to change that.

The salad looks very delicious :)

Bergamot said...

looks good...stuffed peppers with some couscous yummy

chakhlere said...

Nice post!! Loved it!!

Salad looks yummy!

notyet100 said...

ummm perfect meal for me,..

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Brilliant,colourful captured picture! Sounds good too!

Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries said...

That looks AMAZING.

5 Star Foodie said...

What a great idea to have a chickpea couscous salad as a stuffing for the roasted peppers, looks awesome!

sowmya.s said...

nice yummy colour..haveto buy couscous this time..

Nazarina A said...

Yasmeen, you are one that can cook for me anytime, anyplace and practically anything! I love this simple, yet delicious couscous dish and in my favorite utensil....capsicum!

Prathibha said...

Nice pic..very colorful n healthy

Curry Leaf said...

Useful post,healthy salad.The combo of chickpeas and couscous is great.Love all the clicks

Happy cook said...

Wow the salade just looks so so yumm.

lissie said...

healthy and nutritious salad... awesome clicks!

Kanchan said...

Thanks for dropping by Yasmeen, dint know how I has missed you blog. You've got beautiful blog with loads of information.
Will be visiting often !

VS said...

Healthy yummy dish as always Yas!

Jen said...

WOW the couscous looks fluffy and so pretty in the pepper.thanks for the money saving healthy tips.

sabah said...

I never had couscous as salad, I have to try your recipe, thanks for sharing.

Indhu said...

lovely salad... love how colourful it looks :)

Kerstin said...

Great tips! I love couscous and would eat your peppers right up! Great food does not have to be super expensive or time consuming.

JASMINA said...

Hi Yasmeen :)!

You know, a few days ago I went to a BIO supermarket just to have a look and I immediately thought of you and of all the ways in which you inspired me to eat healthier.Your food is not dull :)!
Well,at that supermarket there were all very healthy products,but all so pricy.So,I remembered you and how you said also once before that investing in good food now will pay for it later.But,still I went out of the supermarket without anything in my hands.It was really too expensive.
However,I think I have to do something about it.Maybe starting to write down a shopping list as you suggested in this post.I really hope good planning will bring to some results,because I tell you,I want to eat all those goodies in that supermarket :).
Mwah,mawh darling :)!

Mythreyi Dilip said...

Looks great!

Chef Jeena said...

Healthy and delicious too!

Cynthia said...

Hold the pepper, just give me that salad :)

Vibaas said...

that looks sooooo good :)

Ivy said...

Yummy this looks great.

my kitchen said...

colorful & healthy one,looks awesome

Mediterranean kiwi said...

this looks delicious - we usually fill our peppers with rice, but this recipe looks like a good alternative

nipitinthebud said...

Hi Yasmeen, just checking out the rest of the NCR recipes from Jacqui's round up. I've got some Edame soya beans in the freezer and was wondering what to do with them ...
great post. cheerio, Nic

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