Texas Twist Tabouli: Healthy, Simple & Fresh!

Texan cuisine is always known for being saucy, hearty, and meaty.  Now, don't get me wrong, I will annihilate a plate of brisket, but sometimes I crave something light and flavorful as well.  A dish that I can indulge in, with minimal guilt, and imagine myself somewhere exotic and luxurious.  I love tasting bright flavors with super fresh ingredients, contrasting textures and not feeling like a bowling ball afterwards.  Of course, you can get the girl out of Texas, but you can't get Texas out of the girl!  I like to put a Texas twist on almost everything I make, and this recipe is no exception.  This recipe is very easy, very healthy, and very flavorful!

Texas Twist Tabouli

-  1/2 cup uncooked couscous
-  3/4 cup chicken broth
-  1/2 cup finely diced tomato
-  1/2 cup finely diced and peeled cucumber
-  1/2 cup chopped cilantro
-  1/2 cup chopped parsley
-  3-4 green onions, finely chopped
-  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
-  1 tablespoon white wine (sauvignon blanc preferred)
-  1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
-  1/2 teaspoon salt
-  2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil

Boil the chicken broth on the stove top or microwave (in a microwave safe bowl).  Measure couscous in separate bowl and pour in the hot chicken broth.  Stir to combine, and cover bowl with saran wrap or foil, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed the liquid.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and gently mix in the remaining ingredients.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour to cool and allow the flavors to marry.  Serve as a side dish, or as a main salad.  You can even add grilled chicken for a complete meal.

Substitutions:  Vegetarians can switch out the chicken broth with a quality vegetable broth.  I like to use garlic infused olive oil from the Texas Olive Ranch (part of the Texas Twist), but if you cannot find garlic infused olive oil, you can make your own, or substitute with 2 tablespoons of regular extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.  You could also use 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, but I find raw garlic to be a bit aggressive in this dish.  Not a fan of cilantro?  And you call yourself a Texan?!  Just kidding!  You can substitute the cilantro for the same amount of mint.  Out of sauvignon blanc?  Not a problem, Riesling or many other white wines will do.

Enjoy some healthy and bright flavors for spring and summer without slaving over the stove.  And remember, nothing is set in stone, play with this recipe and make it your own!

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