MIDDLE EASTERN SPICED BEEF
From "Quick & Easy Meals," by the American Heart Association.
• 1 tsp. canola or corn oil
• 12 oz. extra-lean ground beef
• 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
• 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
• 1/2 c. diced onion
• 1 c. water, divided
• 1/2 c. uncooked couscous (preferably whole wheat)
• 1/2 c. (about 2 oz.) finely chopped pecans or whole pine nuts
• 21/2 tsp. sugar
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
• 1/4 tsp. salt
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook beef for 2 minutes, stirring constantly and turning and crumbling beef. Drain and discard any liquid.
Stir in squash, bell pepper and onion. Cook for 8 minutes, or until onion is soft, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, heat 3/4 cup water to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in couscous. Cover tightly and let stand for 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
In a small skillet, dry-roast pecans over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until just fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet so they don't burn. (For pine nuts, dry-roast over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are fragrant and turning golden, stirring frequently.)
Stir the pecans, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, salt and remaining 1/4 cup water into beef mixture. Serve over couscous.