Savory Saturdays: Mediterranean Gratin

I’ve been cooking vegetarian dinners for almost two weeks now, and can’t understand why the weight isn’t falling off.

Salt and Vinegar Chips – vegetarian                                                 
Cheese Pizza – vegetarian                                                                  
Sweet Shiraz – vegetarian                                                                        
Pumpkin Cinnamon Donuts and Apple Cider – vegetarian, vegetarian

So what’s the problem? Perhaps trading carbs for meat wasn’t in my best interest. However, I have honestly not missed meat at dinner and have had a lot of fun trying new recipes. This week, my favorite was this one. I served it with black, seedless grapes and fresh crusty bread from our local bakery. (It also paired nicely with a Cabernet Sauvignon by Simi).  The recipe says it serves 4, but there was plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

Mediterranean Gratin

Prep time: 15 minutes     Start to finish: 40 minutes

1 box (5.8 oz) roasted garlic and olive oil flavor couscous mix
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (5 oz)
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers (7.25 oz jar), drained, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                        
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel                                                            
1 can (15 to 16 oz) garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon olive

1.Heat oven to 350 degrees. Make couscous as directed on box for version without olive oil. (It’s the same directions, just leave out the oil).

2. Meanwhile, spray  11×7 inch (2-quart) glass baking dish or gratin dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch skillet, place spinach and 2 Tablespoons water. Cover; cook over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted.

3. Stir in cooked couscous, roasted red peppers, lemon peel, salt, beans and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spread mixture in baking dish.

4. In small bowl, mix remaining cheese, walnuts and oil. Sprinkle over couscous mixture.

5. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.

Calories per serving: 530

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