White Bean, Spinach and Couscous Bake

P1050424-2

I was craving something vegetarian when I came across this delicious sounding recipe.  However, when I do choose to make anything vegetarian it has to be packed with flavor, so my husband forgets that the meat may be missing.  It is all about the art of distraction.   Flavor punch = Meat amnesia.  Also, with this recipe feel free to change up the type of cheese used.  I think next time I will try using feta. I think its creaminess would put this dish over the top.  Go ahead, challenge the meat-eaters with this dish and see if you can win them over.  Plus you get to learn to chiffonade.  I embedded a link on the word within this recipe in case your not sure on this cutting technique.  


Yield:  4 servings
 
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice couscous
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained but juice reserved
  • 1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced, plus additional 3 tablespoons basil for garnish, chiffonade
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onion for 4 minutes, add garlic and saute for 3 more minutes or until onions are translucent.

3.  Add drained tomatoes and crush any remaining large chunks with the back of a fork.  Add white beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Next fold in spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt.

4.  In a large sized mixing bowl, combine precooked couscous, reserved tomato juice, minced basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly. Fold bean/tomato mixture into the couscous mixture until well combined.

5.  Spread half of the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over mixture.  Top with the remaining couscous mixture and then sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 2-3 more minutes.

6.  Dish into bowls, garnish with chiffonade basil and serve warm.

Adapted from:  beardandbonnet

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