The struggle to make a quick, well-balanced meal that everyone in the family will eagerly polish off can be very real. Mom likes “healthy,” dad likes “hearty,” and the kids . . . well, they start fussing at the sight of too many vegetables. Regardless of these preferences, most of us only have the time and temperament to make a single family-style meal for dinner — no special orders! Get everyone on the same “plate” with my quick and easy recipe for Greek Beef Hidden Veggie Couscous that is approved by kids and adults alike.
The Mediterranean diet was my inspiration for initially creating this 30-minute meal that that my entire family has since requested time and time again. A recent study by Purdue University found that following a Mediterranean-style diet that includes up to 18 ounces of cooked, fresh lean beef and pork per week — along with poultry and fish — is just as effective at improving certain heart disease risk factors (like blood pressure, and total and LDL cholesterol) as a Mediterranean-style eating pattern that limits red meat (1).
While my children do actually eat vegetables, some are consumed with more enthusiasm than others — and rarely in the “half a plate” quantity I suggest. That’s why this recipe is perfect for picky eaters- with cauliflower and white mushrooms camouflaged along with whole grain couscous.
For this recipe, I use thinly cut sirloin steaks prepared via the stovetop stir fry cooking method. Sirloin is a tasty and versatile cut of beef that is ideal for 30-minute meals as it doesn’t require marinating for tenderness and can be cooked in in a number of different ways. Make the task of cutting beef into ultra-thin slices for stir fry by sticking it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up prior to prep. However, for convenience on my busiest days, I use packaged pre-cut sirloin steaks from the freezer aisle that fall apart into delicious bits in the skillet in mere minutes.
Toppings like pine nuts and a bit of feta cheese keep add additional flavor and keep with the Greek theme! Enjoy!
- O’Connor LE, et al. A Mediterranean-style eating pattern with lean, unprocessed red meat has cardiometabolic benefits for adults who are overweight or obese in a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018, nqy075. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqy075/5036105