‘Old’ Wedding Photos of The Meal Makeover Moms … A Recipe for Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies … and the Recipe Redux May Challenge (Podcast #219)

When was the last time you attended a bridal shower or baby shower? For us, it’s been a long, long time. Janice was married in 1988 and Liz tied the knot in 1992, so graduation parties are more our speed these days! But regardless of where you’re at in your life, May is notorious for all sorts of celebrations … and all those celebrations require a lot of great food.

Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies

For this month’s Recipe Redux, we were all challenged with a healthy dish for “shower season.” The result: A new recipe for Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies. This nutritious salad has bright, fresh flavors, is filled with interesting textures, and based on the trial run it received at a cookout Liz just went to, it’s a hit with people of all ages. That’s the kind of recipe we call a “keeper.”

We chat all about this gorgeous spring salad and other celebratory recipes including our Cauliflower Farro Salad on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, so be sure to tune in.

Janice and Don get married! Circa 1988

Janice and Don walking down the aisle, circa 1988. Oh my … that hair! Those shoulder pads!

Liz and Tim get married. Circa 1992

Now that you’ve stopped laughing, here’s Liz and Tim on their wedding day in 1992. OK. Now you can start laughing again :)

Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies

Lemony Couscous photo edited with Instagram.

Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies

Makes 16 Servings

The next time you’re invited to a bridal or baby shower or another special celebration consider our recipe.  It’s versatile, so if you prefer bell peppers to tomatoes, make the swap. Or if you love walnuts or almonds make the switch from pecans. Same goes for the feta. Tiny cubes of reduced-fat Cheddar would also be nice.

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous)
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, blanched for 1 to 2 minutes until crisp tender
  • One 12-ounce container multicolored gourmet tomato medley or grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted pecans pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring a few times. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid, transfer to a large bowl, and cool. Stir frequently to speed up cooling. (You can also place in the refrigerator until chilled.)

2. Stir in the green beans, tomatoes, feta, raisins, pecans, and basil until well combined. Stir in the remaining olive oil, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (generous 1/2 cup): 230 calories, 9g fat, (2g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 140mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 7g protein, 60% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 10% iron

Print Recipe

Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies

We can’t wait to see what our fellow dietitian Reduxers have in store for us this month. Bring it on!!



18 Responses to “‘Old’ Wedding Photos of The Meal Makeover Moms … A Recipe for Lemony Couscous with Lots of Veggies … and the Recipe Redux May Challenge (Podcast #219)”

  1. I love love love that you included your wedding photos!! Sure the styles of dress and hair may date you but ladies you sure have aged well (well, have you aged?)
    I’m a huge fan of Israeli couscous and thanks to Trader Joe’s pretty purple box, so is Mia :) I’m not waiting for a brunch occasion to make this one!

  2. graincrazy says:

    This looks so yummy. I love the addition of the lemon and basil. Thanks so much for sharing this. I wonderful way to incorporate grain in your diet. My daughter just had me try on my wedding dress the other day. It brought back a flood of memories. It did not look as good as it did 30 years ago, but it was fun.

  3. Ditto what Deanna said! So fun to see your wedding photos :-) Love this recipe, and it reminded me that I recently saw some gluten-free couscous, so I am definitely making this soon! Happy ReDux!

  4. This looks so light and fresh! And i’m growing some basil outside my window and the plant has gotten out of control. I have way more basil than I know what to do with! I can only make so much pesto haha!! So this recipe will be a great use for at least some of it!

    And i’m loving those wedding pictures. I’m getting married in December and have been trying to convince my fiance that the cummerbund + bow tie look is the way to go. I just think it looks so timeless and classy!

    • Liz says:

      Kylie, congrats on your upcoming wedding. Let us know what your fiance decides to wear! And bring us some of that basil, would ya!

  5. what a adorableeeee picture and refreshing salad :)

  6. Elle says:

    Janice and Liz, the only thing I like better than these pictures is this recipe.

    Let’s start with the photos. They are so cute. They made me smile. You both look so incredibly happy.

    That is what all wedding pictures should convey – complete happiness.

    Now on to the recipe, it looks so yummy.

    What I really appreciate is the versatility. It is like having a multitude of recipes in one.

    You can change it based on your personal tastes, or even just based on what you have in the fridge at the moment.

    Those are my favorite type of recipes. Please keep them coming!

  7. Annemarie says:

    This looks and sounds fabulous! My summer farm share is starting up this week and I’ll definitely be giving this a try.

  8. Love the wedding pics — so cute! I also love Israeli couscous…it makes a gorgeous dish and is kind of fun to eat. Your recipe is a keeper — looks flavorful but light!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Danielle: We’ve been on the lookout for whole wheat Israeli couscous, which we think would also work wonders in this recipe!

  9. Patty says:

    I am making the couscous for dinner, with baked salmon. Yum.

    You both look so cute ! And really not that different :)

  10. Liz says:

    Thanks Patty!! Only our hairdresser knows for sure!

  11. Love the wedding photos! It’s kinda ok to get to a certain age when your 80s and 90s photos are so retro cool again! Lace and shoulder pads are definitely hitting the catwalks here for winter. Also thanks Janince for the heads up on your FNCE Seductive Nutriiton preso….love to follow the tweets or access the slides down the track?

  12. Janice says:

    I’m glad shoulder pads and lace are making a comeback, Emma! I can pull some old dresses out of storage!
    Definitely get in touch in early October and I’ll share the slides for the presentation. Wish you could fly up from Australia for the conference!
    Not sure if I ever told you but my daughter ended up studying in Copenhagan last semester. Have a great day!

  13. Jen says:

    Great post ladies! Fun to see your pictures, I got married in 1999 and its fun to think back at those fun memories! Can’t wait to try the recipe too.

  14. Wow…2 beauties! The guys look good, too. And so does the Lemony Couscous.

  15. Cindy says:

    This looks fabulous and I am all about recipes that let me substitute whatever I have on hand at the moment… looks like a great use for some of the big box of quinoa I just made. Thanks for sharing both the recipe and your lovely photos!

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