Cranberry Couscous with Spinach

When the side dish becomes the star!  This couscous recipe is one that looks good and tastes even better if that’s possible.  I looked at a package of cranberries this weekend and thought “We have to make something with these.”   As I was perusing similar recipes, most I found were topped with green onion or cilantro but I decided to use spinach for and additional calcium punch.  Love those dark leafy greens.

The result is a light yet satisfying combination of tart and sweet.  We served it hot and Mediterranean style with hummus, homemade pita chips and bok choy.  After having it for lunch the following day I can’t decide if I prefer it hot or cold but I’ll let you decide.  The colors make it a perfect addition to any holiday meal!

“Couscous: The food so nice, they named it twice!” -Pineapple Express

Cranberry Couscous with Spinach
Serves 6

1 cup uncooked couscous
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup spinach cut into ribbons
¼ cup walnuts

Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Prepare couscous according to directions.  Add to serving bowl.  Gently combine cranberries, spinach, walnuts.  Top with dressing, stir and serve.  Can be served warm or cold. 

Nutrition Facts:   221 Calories, 12g Fat, 25g Carbohydrate, 5g Protein, 2g Fiber, 34mg Sodium, 92mg Potassium


Doggy Birthday Carrot Cake

Someone at Lemon Pantry turned two this weekend!  My basset hound mix Penny celebrated her second birthday with me in style.  I made her a doggy birthday cake both this year and last but I updated the recipe a bit and thought I would share incase any of you are as dog-lady crazy as I am.  You know this recipe is a keeper because it's always gone in under 60 seconds.
I cook the cake in a bread pan to get a rectangle that can be cut into a bone or other shape easily.  I usually do a Google Image search for a cartoon bone, print and then lay the shape on the cake and cut around it with a knife.  I then mix together some plain Greek yogurt and peanut butter for frosting and you can decorate with a Milkbone or cut a straw into a "candle".
I'll leave you with a peek at some of my favorite pictures of my rescue girl from this past year.  Happy 2nd Birthday, Penny!

Doggy Birthday Carrot Cake 

1 cup whole wheat or brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix flour and baking soda together.  Incorporate rest of ingredients and mix well.  Grease a bread pan with a small amount of oil.  Add batter to pan in an even layer.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes and flip pan upside down to remove.  Use stencil to cut out a bone or other shape if desired (discard the rest or serve to dog party guests).  Mix frosting in small bowl. Frost and serve!