One of my favorite things to do is replicating delicious restaurant dishes at home in healthier versions. I am a J. Alexander’s fan and feel I’ve pretty much nailed their Israeli Couscous recipe (though my husband says I improved upon it!) This recipe is creamy, slightly spicy, and a has a hint of Middle Eastern flair to it. It’s so delicious that the fact it’s healthy is hardly noticed!
I added a bit of Parmesan cheese as garnish, but it is easily left off for vegan eating. This is one of my favorite on hand recipes because it is a fairly easy dish to whip up on a weeknight as a side or as a main course.
Israeli Couscous Recipe inspired by J. Alexander’s, serves 2
1.25C vegetable broth
2/3C Israeli Couscous or some packages may refer to it as “pearl”
1/2C coconut milk
1/4C fresh parsley
1/2 medium onion
1/3 bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
1T olive oil
1/4t black pepper
1/4t white pepper
Parmesan cheese as garnish
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan over medium-low heat. Dice the onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley. I chose to dice mine very fine so they wouldn’t be too much larger than the couscous itself.
Combine the onions and carrots together and cook for 3-6 minutes. You want the carrots to soften, but not brown.
Once the couscous is cooked, stir in the parsley and coconut milk. Though any milk could be used, I wanted to use a dairy-free milk and I love the way coconut milk can enhance Middle Eastern flavors. Do not skip the milk step! It is what binds all the ingredients together and brings out the creaminess of the couscous.
If you have had J. Alexander’s version, how do you think this recipe holds up?