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Happy New Year

With the new year comes the resolutions to lose weight, live healthier and do better in general. Eating well for me is a way of life, I like to eat really good food but watch the quantity so I can be healthy. But with he new year, the question I get a lot is, are there any African dishes that are light and delicious? my answer to that is a resounding YES!!! Most African meals are light and because most recipes are written with unprocessed ingredients have very high nutritional value. The food products with very high fat content like palm oil (used heavily in West African cuisine) can be used sparingly for daily use by using half the quantity called for in a recipe and substituting remaining half with canola oil or for recipes where palm oil is used primarily for color (Yam Pottage), other ingredients like pureed bell peppers can be a great substitute. One of my favorite lite recipes that makes for a great lunch or supper is a vegetable couscous and grilled coconut milk dipped Tilapia. It is a great representation of North and East African cuisine and it spotlights how African inspired meals can have it all in one package…..look, smell and taste fabulous!!! From my kitchen to your, Enjoy!

Recipe

1 medium sized zucchini (Cut in 3 inch chunks)
1 medium Yellow Squash(Cut in 3 inch chunks)
1 medium Red Onion  (cut in half and quartered)
½ cup of olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup store bought couscous
1½ cup of boiling vegetable stock
2 Tilapia Fillet
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder
2 inches fresh tamarind
Salt to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Vegetable Couscous
Place cut up vegetables in bowl along with olive oil and toss together. Place on baking sheet, season with salt and black pepper and roast in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.In a glass bowl mix couscous with hot vegetable stock. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow couscous to soak up all the liquid…about 15 minutes. After 20 minutes in the oven, remove the vegetables and allow to rest about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous and check for salt. Add extra if necessary. Add roasted vegetables and mix together. Serve Hot with Grilled Tilapia
Coconut Milk Dipped Grilled Tilapia
In a sauce pan, heat up coconut milk, curry, tamarind, grated ginger and cayenne pepper under low-medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and taste for salt. Add salt if necessary and cook until liquid thickens and reduce by about half. Brush liquid on the fish and place fish on hot grill. Continue to brush coconut milk mixture on each side as you cook the fish. Cook each side for 3 minutes per side for up to 3 turns making sure to brush on liquid each time you turn the fish. Serve  hot over vegetable couscous.