Couscous Feta Pilaf; Battle of the Bulge in America

The quest for delicious couscous recipes continues….

Fortunately, it’s a fun quest.

Couscous is great for summer – it requires no cooking, just hot stock.

Dress it up with anything that suits your fancy!

Couscous Feta Pilaf

Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes    

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 olives, any type
  • 1 ounce (30gr) feta
  • 1 tbs snipped chives
  • 1 tbs snipped basil
  • 2 tsp good olive oil

Couscous Feta Pilaf

 Instructions:

  • Heat chicken broth to a boil.
  • Put couscous in a medium bowl.
  • When broth is boiling pour over couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes… Do not stir it.
  • Snip herbs.  
  • Cut  cherry tomatoes in half.  
  • Pit olives if needed, then cut in half. 
  • Crumble feta. 
  • When couscous is ready, uncover, add remaining ingredients, including olive oil, fluff gently with a fork to combine and serve. 

Note:  The easiest way to pit olives is to lay them on a cutting board or counter, put the blade of a large knife flat on top and whack the flat blade with the heel of your palm.  The olive will split, and you can remove the pit.
This is also the easiest way to peel garlic.

On to news from the US:

According to MedlinePlus, a website of the National Institutes of Health, the Battle of the Bulge continues.

I feel a rant coming on….. Read on at your own risk.

You can read the article and learn all the facts and opinions of the Powers That Be – and who those Powers That Be actually are yourself.  I only want to discuss the (drum roll please), and I quote:

“Specific strategies include:

  • Requiring at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools.
  • Creating industry-wide guidelines regarding which foods and beverages can be marketed to children and how the marketing should be done.
  • Taking full advantage of doctors’ influence to promote obesity prevention among patients.
  • Increasing the availability of lower-calorie, healthier children’s meals in restaurants.”

60 minutes of activity in schools?  You mean they don’t do that anymore?  In grade school we had two 15 minute recesses and an hour at lunch.  And we had to play – or else (nuns).  By high school it was Phy Ed, but only three days per week – no skipping allowed.  Whatever, that’s a good strategy – kids should have more fun.

Guidelines about marketing stuff to kids? Yeah, that’s a good idea…. But will anyone follow the guidelines?

Doctor’s influence?  You mean that doctors will actually be able, no, encouraged to tell fat people that they’re fat without risk of being sued for damaging the self-esteem of the patient? I have heard that American doc’s have gotten so wishy-washy, they don’t even suggest to their obese patients that said patient lose weight. I have also heard that, while an alcoholic won’t get a liver transplant if they are still drinking an obese person will get joint replacements without having to lose the weight that caused the deterioration in the first place. (Yes, I know, carrying excess weight does not cause all joint problems, but it does cause some and exacerbate others)

Maybe, while they’re at it, the Powers That Be can do some adjusting to the official ‘Weight Charts’.  US weight charts encourage people to weigh 15% more than French weight charts do.

Healthier children’s meals in restaurants…. Good idea.

Or….. Maybe they could decrease portions on every bodys’ meals in restaurants, as well as make them lower-calorie.  Yes, Yes, I know…. Americans like getting huge portions in restaurants because they can take half of it home.  That means that the high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium meal they had one day can be repeated at home the next!  That is, if they really don’t eat it all the first time.

Or…. What about cooking at home?  Novel idea, I know, but it could work.  People could learn how to prepare food themselves.

The five ‘Guidelines’ aren’t bad – but really, is that the best all those committees could come up with?

Hmmm…. That can’t even be classified as a proper rant.  Guess I’m getting as wishy-washy as the doctors.

But, after all, it’s not my job to keep people healthy.

I did my part with the couscous.

 

6 thoughts on “Couscous Feta Pilaf; Battle of the Bulge in America”

  1. Jamie Oliver has had a terrible time trying to get U.S. schools to serve healthier food – did that series get to France on TV – I was riveted with horror actually seeing what was being served for school lunches. Australia too has horrendous stats when it comes to obesity.

  2. @manningroad: I was SHOCKED at the horrible reception he got here–and how the kids all said they would eat those “chicken nuggets” he made from chicken parts, unlike children from other countries. When I taught school, aeons ago, they had just started to install soda and candy machines. Most of the faculty protested loudly; but money talks, especially in poorly-funded schools. We now see the results.

  3. Did you know that they have soda machines in schools now? Soda machines! No wonder kids are fat! I’m heavy now but I wasn’t when I was young – the scariest part for me is to see how many very young children (first and second graders!) are already obese. And, yes, phys ed should be required every day at school. Where I tutor, it is required – they are enlightened.

  4. manningroad, no, I didn’t see that. I heard about it but don’t think it made it to us. There are McDonald’s in hospitals in the US – ’nuff said.
    Gary, we used to have a ‘candy stand’ in our school – open for 10 minutes a day. But always milk with lunch – no soft drinks. I’m going to look for that series.
    Elizabeth, yeah…. me too. Makes me want to scream.
    Zoomie, I think the state of children is terrible – bad diets, no discipline… Best not go there….

  5. Healthier children’s meals in restaurants are definitely a good idea. The way things are now, health conscious parents don’t feel very encouraged to eat out at one of these fast food restaurants themselves, much less subject their children to all the salt and reused oil.
    I think a lot of changes can be made. Fast food does not have to be so unhealthy. In our own homes we have quick dinner and lunch ideas that are more healthy and cost less. Of course oil makes food taste better. Why is it that an entire menu has to be a combination of greasy food? Even serving fried chicken with fries done in the oven would make a difference. The meal would still taste good but you would get more out of the food.

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