Nutty Grain Pilaf, Convenience-style

Nutty Grain Pilaf

This is a quick-fix version of another recipe elsewhere on the site – it uses healthy ready-mades so is perfect for those busy days! Wheat couscous and frozen peas each offer a surprising range and amount of nutrients, including protein, calcium and iron and are economical cupboard and freezer staples. Alternatively, use a ready-to-eat grain that’s wheat or gluten-free if that’s your preference. There are lots out there!

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 packs dried instant couscous (or use sachets of ready-cooked grains if you don’t want wheat). Many are vegan but others aren’t, so read the labels. Here’s a useful link from My Vegan Supermarket
  • 1 mixed stir-fry pack containing onion, pepper and anything else you like
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 225g/8oz frozen peas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh or freeze-dried mint, ½-1 packet according to taste
  • Roasted or raw nuts to sprinkle on top, eg hazelnuts, slivered almonds, cashews. Alternatively, use seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin or a mixed type of your choice
  • Green salad to serve
  • Plain vegan yoghurt if desired

Instructions

  1. Make the couscous according to the packet instructions – this usually involves pouring boiling water over the mixture in a heat-proof bowl. If you’re using a ready-to-eat grain in a packet, just warm through in the microwave or on the stove.
  2. Cook the peas – in a saucepan or in the microwave until just tender. Set aside.
  3. In a wok or large frying pan, heat the oil then quickly fry up the stir-fry pack for a couple of minutes – you want the veg to have texture. Stir in the cumin and turmeric and fry them in for about a minute. Remove from the heat.
  4. Mix the couscous, peas and cooked vegetable mixture together. Add the lemon juice and mint and stir in well.
  5. Serve in bowls with the nuts or seeds on the top and the salad on the side. Spoon plain vegan yoghurt on top if using.

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