Mediterranean Couscous

Couscous is a great option for a side dish or main dish because it takes on flavor really well.  Surprised that an Italian loves small pasta balls??  Seriously though, this Mediterranean version is a great side dish or main dish with the addition of a protein like chicken or fish.  It’s easy to make, versatile and delicious!

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Couscous
  • 1 1/4 Cup Water
  • 4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided in half
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 Small Tomatoes, Seeded and Diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Seeded and Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions

  • Place water and 2 Tbs olive oil in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a bowl.  Allow to cool.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Refrigerate and serve.

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Grilled Greek Lamb Chops with Tzatziki

I love finding grilled lamb chops as an appetizer at parties.  You don’t have to be at a party though, they also make an easy dinner!  Some people are intimidated by lamb or aren’t sure how to season and cook it properly.  Using classic Greek flavors is an easy and fool-proof way to make perfect lamb chops every time!  I always pair them with my easy tzatziki recipe – you can use it with the lamb, pitas and veggies to dip in.

GRILLED GREEK LAMB CHOPS

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb Chops
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions

  • Place lamb chops in a 9×9 dish or ziplock bag.
  • Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over lamb chops.
  • Cover or seal to marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove lamb chops from refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
  • Grill lamb chops over medium heat 3-4 minutes per side for medium doneness.
  • Remove from grill, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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EASY TZATZIKI

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Greek Yogurt (don’t go fat-free here, use 2% or full-fat for best results)
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Tsp Chopped Dill (dried works well here too)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Don’t over-mix as you want to keep the thick texture of the Greek yogurt.
  • You can eat it immediately, but I love to let it set in the refrigerator to meld the flavors.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for the lamb chops, pitas and vegetables.

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Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

I love that beer has had a revival over the past 5 years!  There’s been an explosion of local brewers and innovation in types, flavors, bottling, canning, etc.  What’s not to love, right? The starting point for many new breweries, and always a crowd favorite, is the IPA.  I’ve had more than I can count, but Ballast Point hit the nail on the head with this one.

There is great body in this beer with a crisp citrus hop flavor.  You’d think that the addition of grapefruit would make this overpowering, but it really compliments the beer well.  Who would have imagined that a winter fruit would make for a great summertime beer?  I love this beer with salmon or chicken, but it pairs really well with a lot of dishes.  I’d like to say it’s an all-day sipper, but at 7% ABV, it gets a little boozy on a long afternoon in the sun.

You can find this gem on tap and canned or bottled in lots of places due to their purchase by Constellation Brands (Corona, Modelo).  Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed in this diversion from the everyday IPA!  Check them out at ballastpoint.com.

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