Update 2/25: I did try this recipe using cilantro instead of parsley, black beans/red onions instead of cucumbers, and lime juice instead of lemon juice. I thought it sounded great in theory, but it didn’t really work for me. One of my mistakes was keeping the mint in the recipe; cilantro and mint did not mix well in my opinion. I may try a cilantro version again at some point (with some changes), but I will probably move on to another recipe (or stick to the original recipe!) for now!
I’ve had a box of whole-wheat couscous sitting in my cupboard for probably a couple of years at this point. I had wanted to try some kind of Mediterranean cooking project with them, and now I finally had my chance!
I liked the idea of the recipe below, as it didn’t require too many ingredients and sounded pretty healthy and refreshing.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup couscous, preferably whole-wheat
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 4 10-inch spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps or tortillas
- Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine parsley, mint, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Toss chicken tenders in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parsley mixture and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the tenders in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked though, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
- Stir the remaining parsley mixture into the couscous along with tomato and cucumber.
- To assemble wraps, spread about 3/4 cup of the couscous mixture onto each wrap. Divide the chicken among the wraps. Roll the wraps up like a burrito, tucking in the sides to hold the ingredients in. Serve cut in half.
Source: Mediterranean Wrap
My additional notes:
- The original recipe says there are 4 servings here; I think it will end up being more like 6 for me.
- It was really cool “cooking” couscous. Basically you boil water and then remove it from heat. You throw the couscous into the hot water (with the lid on your pot) for about 5 minutes. Magically, it “grows” and is ready to use after that! It reminded me of those washcloths that are originally a hard square of material, and upon throwing them into water, they expand into a cute little towel!
- Some reviewers mentioned using cilantro instead of parsley. I do like the parsley flavor, but I may try using half cilantro and half parsley next time if I am feeling adventurous.
- I ended up buying plum tomatoes, which are pretty small. I used about 2-3 of them, basically trying to ensure there were about equal parts of cucumber and tomato.
- I only used about 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil. Olive oil does contain “good fats”, but I noticed that each tablespoon brings 14 grams of fat to the table! By using less, I downed my total olive oil fat content from 42 to 21 grams. I thought the flavor was great like that, and I plan to do that next time as well (perhaps even using only 1 tablespoon of olive oil).
- I think I will add some feta cheese to the wrap the next time too.
- Make sure to add the chicken and couscous mixture into the wrap RIGHT before serving. I packed it all together for my lunch yesterday, and by the time I ate it, everything was soggy.