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Israeli Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Tempeh


I don’t know about any of you, but I’m one of those gals who likes the pearled, or Israeli, couscous and not the superfine kind. I think the latter is a little too gritty but maybe I’ve never had it made correctly.  This recipe had roasted veggies, spices, chickpeas and tempeh. Proteinalicious!

Before this recipe, I had never made couscous before. I always see it made on the cooking shows I watch, but I’ve never actually been “brave” enough to make it on my own. Maybe the idea of fluffing it with my fork just scared me, who knows. Luckily I have a husband who likes having culinary adventures and let’s me tag along for the ride.

The great thing about this recipe is that it had a lot of Indian spices in it! And by a lot, I mean two. Ha. It had garam masala and turmeric. I always keep a batch of garam masala in my kitchen, but sometimes I act like my mom and make it fresh during the cooking process.

Here’s my recipe for it if you’ve never made it and want to sometime! Turmeric is another great spice. I don’t think it actually tastes like anything, but it does make your dishes turn a beautiful yellow color and stains your nails and fingertips!


I guess these two spices just remind me of home and my mom’s kitchen, so I was really excited to find a non-Indian recipe that also used them! I have to say, this dish turned out fantastic. It was a little time consuming but it turned out pretty great. REB was responsible for cooking the tempeh so I just got the instructions/process from him but didn’t take any pics :(

The original recipe was just the Israeli couscous with the grilled veggies, but we don’t have a grill and didn’t feel like pulling out the stove-top grill. So we roasted our veggies and since there really wasn’t a ton of protein in the dish, we decided to make tempeh to top it off. REB made the tempeh with an orange glaze, which I know sounds weird with the spiced couscous, but it actually went together so nicely. The sweetness paired well with the spice. They were pretty happy together. And I was too ;)

Israeli Couscous recipe adapted from Three Many Cooks
Orange glazed tempeh adapted from 101 Cookbooks

For the tempeh:
•4 oz. Soy Tempeh (we used half a block of this Light Life Tempeh brand), cut into thin triangles or 1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking)
•1/2 cup fresh mandarin juice or orange juice (about 4-5 mandarins)
•1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
•1 teaspoon lite soy sauce
•3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
•1 teaspoon honey (use maple syrup instead to make this dish vegan!)
•1 teaspoon ground coriander

For the couscous:
•2 cups Israeli (pearled) couscous
•1 small zucchini cut julienne then cut in thirds to make small strips
•1 red bell pepper cut julienne then cut in half to make small strips
•1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
•1/2 cup chopped onion
•1 teaspoon minced garlic
•3 teaspoons garam masala (I know that sounds like a lot, but this will make it good and spicy)
•1 teaspoon turmeric
•3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
•1 cup water
•S&P to taste
•1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus some extra for garnish
•2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for roasting vegetables

Start by preheating your oven to 400°F. Add the bell pepper and zucchini in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes checking on them halfway and tossing again.

Meanwhile in a large pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and let it get hot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Next add the garlic and cook an additional minute or two.  Then add the couscous and spices and stir to lightly toast the couscous, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cup of water. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. It will be very thick!

While all that is happening, heat a separate skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the tempeh and cook 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Then add the liquid mixture and let it simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes. It will turn into a glaze.

When the couscous is finished, add in the chickpeas, roasted vegetables, halved tomatoes and cilantro. Top with tempeh, garnish with cilantro and serve!

This made so much! I think we easily could have served 6-8 people. You could definitely feed more if you were serving it as a side dish. This can also be made vegan. Actually I think without the tempeh, it already is vegan. Either way, this is one dish I don’t mind having a lot leftovers!

Have any of you made couscous before?
Do you prefer the traditional fine couscous, or this pearled kind?

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