alive logo

Middle Eastern Kebabs with Pearl Couscous and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Serves 4


    There is a beautiful confluence of flavours in this delightful heart-healthy dish. A bit of West meets East with buffalo and coconut flavours married with red peppers. Served over Israeli couscous, it’s a world of deliciousness in a single healthy dish.


    What is Israeli couscous?

    More of a pasta than a grain, Israeli couscous is made from little balls of hard wheat flour. It was developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was rather scarce and grew to be a world staple. Substitute with orzo pasta if you wish. 

    Grilling options

    If grilling outdoors isn’t an option, place oven rack in top third of oven and preheat broiler. Arrange kebab skewers on rimmed baking sheet and slide under broiler. Broil for 5 minutes, turning once for medium-rare kebabs. Broil a couple minutes longer for medium kebabs.


    Middle Eastern Kebabs with Pearl Couscous and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut sauce, coconut aminos, or low-sodium tamari sauce
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) apple cider vinegar
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed, and minced
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper
      • 1 lb (500 g) grassfed sirloin tip water buffalo, bison, or beef cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
      • 1 red onion, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
      • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
      Pearl couscous
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 cup (250 mL) Israeli couscous
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped Italian parsley
      Roasted red pepper coconut cream sauce
      • 12 oz (340 mL) jar fire-roasted red bell peppers, drained
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut cream
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup
      • 1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed, and minced
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) sea salt
      • Generous pinches of freshly ground black pepper, allspice, and nutmeg
      • Toasted flaked coconut, for garnish (optional)


      Per serving:

      • calories576
      • protein43 g
      • fat23 g
        • sat. fat10 g
      • total carbohydrates51 g
        • sugar8 g
        • fibre6 g
      • sodium361 mg



      In bowl, combine coconut sauce, aminos, or tamari, if using, with vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Whisk together to blend. Add cubes of meat and stir in until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally. The longer it marinates, the more tender the meat becomes.


      In medium saucepan, heat oil. Add couscous and stir with wooden spoon over medium heat until it becomes toasty and golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly add vegetable stock to prevent it from sputtering. Turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes or until couscous is tender and stock is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.


      To blender, add roasted pepper, coconut cream, vegetable stock, tomato paste, maple syrup, garlic, and seasonings. Whirl until smooth. Transfer to small saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Cover, set aside, and keep warm.


      Drain marinade from meat and discard. Bring meat to room temperature before grilling, about 45 minutes. If using bamboo or wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 45 minutes before using. Grease barbecue grill and preheat to 400 F (200 C).


      Thread drained cubed meat, onion, and yellow pepper among 4 metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Place skewers on grill. Grill covered, for 5 to 7 minutes for medium rare, or 145 F (63 C) when tested with a meat thermometer. Turn skewers once. Grill a minute or 2 longer for medium (160 F (71 C) doneness. Remove and cover loosely with a tent of parchment for kebabs to rest for a few minutes.


      To serve, add couscous onto plate. Straddle kebabs overtop and spoon warm roasted red pepper sauce overtop. Garnish with toasted flaked coconut if you wish.



      SEE MORE »
      Going Pro

      Going Pro

      You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.