Locally Sourced Meals: Whole grains increase fiber

Lauren J. Mapp, Editor-in-Chief

Saying “you are what you eat” may be cliché, but unfortunately for many Americans – with diets based on fast food menus and frozen dinners – this cliché is incredibly true to form.

One of the most prominent issues is a lack of fiber consumption. Low fiber intake causes many health issues, including constipation, hemorrhoids, weight gain and colon cancer.

As an added incentive to eat whole grain foods and vegetables high in fiber, doing so also has positive benefits. These include decreasing cholesterol, aiding in weight loss and controlling blood sugar levels.

The following recipe uses whole grain pearl couscous in a tabbouleh-like salad along with locally-grown produce, resulting in a tasty alternative to refined carbohydrates.

Recipe: Couscous Mint Salad
Makes 4 side portions

1 cup whole grain pearl couscous
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup carrots, diced (Suzie’s Farm)
1/4 cup tomato, diced (Valdivia Farm)
1/4 cup green onion, diced (Valdivia Farm)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (Suzie’s Farm)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (Salt Farm)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a small sauce pot, cover couscous with two inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cook to al dente and make sure that all the water has evaporated, approximately 10 minutes. Let cool before proceeding.

Combine chilled couscous with the remaining ingredients and let it marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Toss one last time before serving.                                  –Lauren J. Mapp