Heart-Healthy Pink Israeli Couscous Salad

My new fave meal obsession: pink Israeli couscous salad! Pink = steamed & peeled beets! ♥ See how the color develops w/ stirring?

Beets are not only very nutritious, but they also improve cardiovascular health and reduce high blood pressure. Don't forget about heart health awareness, esp. in women!

I also added grape tomatoes & fresh mozzarella shreds after toasting the couscous in a bit of coconut oil & cooking in chicken stock. Mmmm...

It's really just one of those "throw whatever you want in" recipes; I made it up on Valentine's Day. :-) [Get it = festive color!] But for those of y'all who'd really like some numbers:

*2 tbsp coconut oil (you can use any oil you want: olive, etc. I'm a huge fan of nutritious coconut oil, though!)
*1 box Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous [or 8 oz (~1.5 cups) of any brand]
*1 3/4 cups boiling chicken stock [I use water & Better than Bouillon organic low-sodium chicken base (1 tsp + 8 oz of water = chicken stock; my mom turned me onto this stuff - SO MUCH BETTER than any other store-bought stock I've ever tasted! It's quality & lasts for ages; you can also easily add more base for a more intense flavor. Buy it at Costco: in the grocery, an 8 oz jar is the same price as the 16 oz jar at Costco!)]

Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add couscous and stir until it just begins to turn golden. Add the chicken stock, cover, and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

While the couscous simmers, chop up:

*steamed & peeled baby beets (I put these in a glass bowl and snip them into pieces with kitchen shears, so I don't get beet stain all over my hands or cutting board = brilliant! Trader Joe's, Safeway, & Melissa's are all good brands; you can't beat the convenience of having them already steamed, peeled, & vacuum-packed, ready to go!)
*grape tomatoes
*fresh mozzarella

When the couscous is ready, mix it all up! Simple! You can add anything else you'd like - chicken for protein, any other veggies. I added some dried cranberries once (traditional couscous often calls for raisins, so that was my inspiration, staying pink & red :-P) and it was divine!