Sriracha and Asparagus Israeli Couscous

One of my favorite food blogs is by far 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson, the writer of 101 Cookbooks, pretty much does what I wish I could do, and what I think my original intentions for this blog were. She creates these original recipes made with all natural foods. Things you would never think of. And they are really great. I have experimented with a few, usually adapting them a bit...usually only because I don't always have everything. The day this recipe appeared on her blog, I had to try it...me and a few others that I know!

This Tabasco and Asparagus Quinoa is really right up my alley. Mostly because I love hot sauce. All kinds of hot sauce. Sriracha may be my favorite at the moment. But I love Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot and anything else you've got. Asparagus, while in season, is not necessarily the first thing I would have thought to combine with hot sauce, of any type really, but it really worked well. Mind you, I made this when Asparagus were in season. I realize I am a bit late posting this one.

Below is my adapted version. I, obviously, used Sriracha sauce instead of Tabasco. I also replaced some of the butter with Greek yogurt to make it healthier. And a big change I incorporated was the use of Israeli Couscous. I did not have quinoa. But the Israeli Couscous was a really nice substitution because it made it seem creamier and more of a pasta-like dish. However, I am sure that quinoa would have been just as tasty! Oh, and I added tomato and onion because 1. I had them and they needed to be used and 2. I find myself adding them to almost everything! They were definitely a nice touch, adding just a bit more flavor.

Sriracha and Asparagus Couscous

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup 2% Fage Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Sriracha sauce (as much as your heart desires!)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
4 cups cooked Israeli Couscous
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
scant 1/4 cup 2% Fage Greek Yogurt - optional
more Sriracha sauce to taste

1. Prepare Israeli Couscous per the instructions on the box.

2. Make the sauce first melting the butter. Then combine melted butter, Greek yogurt, Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt. Set aside.

3. Boil asparagus. Only for a 2-3 minutes, keeping it firm. Cut into 1-inch segments and set aside.

4. Saute onion in olive oil, with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add asparagus right before onion starts to turn translucent. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomato. Set aside to let cool.

5. Combine Couscous with vegetable mixture and sauce. Stir in pine nuts. Serve cooled or warm. Top with extra sriracha sauce and extra Greek yogurt for serving.

And then....when you're done...and you're obviously left room for dessert...you can make yourself some of these awesomely easy Nutella brownies that I came upon while reading Savory Sweet Life.

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