Another Colorful Side

Colorful Side Dish #3
Spinach and Feta
Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo, Red Quinoa

Sauté chopped garlic, chopped scallions, and red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add fresh baby spinach to wilt. Season to taste.

Toss spinach mixture with cooked Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo, and red quinoa. This blend is called Harvest Grains Blend and is available from Trader Joe’s. Crumble feta on top. This recipe was inspired by one in Gourmet magazine some years ago, they made theirs with Acini di Pepe (tiny pearl pasta) and used frozen spinach.
Something New at Home

I am very excited about this change that cost nothing but makes my home feel dramatically different for the new year. I switched the dining room and family room. The former family room is considerably larger and has a fireplace in the corner. I moved the dining table here so now there is a more open and casual space for dining, and we can eat in front of a beautiful crackling fire.

The former dining room is now a cozy den. The chandelier which was above the dining table is above the coffee table, so you can still walk by without hitting your head. Makes a great spot to sit and read cookbooks! I also switched some artwork around, and that has freshened up some of the other rooms in the house.
Have you made any changes to your home or kitchen for the new year?

37 thoughts on “Another Colorful Side”

  1. I love your three side dishes! I think I might just try #3 later this weekend (after I go grocery shopping at TJs).

    Your new room arrangements look lovely (although I suspect they also looked lovely before). I love the idea of eating next to a crackling fire. Brilliant!

  2. I love the change up from dining rm to living rm. Love eating by my fireplace, it’s a maybe.
    Also really like Israeli cous cous but so hard to find.
    Only Whole Foods sells it in NJ. How pathetic!

  3. Eating by a fireplace would be wonderful! Just think of the leisurely dinners you will have! I love this side dish. Even though I don’t have the blend, I do have all of them items separately, and I would never thought of combining all of them!

  4. First: I love this dish, and although it is still morning I would love a bite .. great idea to use the fresh spinach, much better than frozen 🙂

    Second: WOW! Great idea to switch, what a wonderful dining room you have now, and I love the coziness of the former dining room.

  5. The side sounds great, but I really lo-o-ove the furniture rearrangement. I hate cramped dining, and any meal served with a fire crackling in the corner, particularly this time of year, is made better by it. Smart lady.

  6. That’s my kind of “sides”. Great combining the couscous, quinoa and orzo — triple the enjoyment!

    Your home is LOVELY and I think you made a great decision in the redesign (at least now during the winter months).

  7. It’s my first time visiting your blog and I’m already totally inspired. Such beautiful images – your love of food and entertaining really shines through here. I’ll be back!

  8. Oh my gosh! Everything looks so good here and in the post below! I’m sooooo hungry now.

    You place looks beautiful. The only change I’m making to my place is to clean it. 😉


    P.S. I was looking for your sky shot but can’t find it. I’ll keep looking.

  9. Hi Juliet – thank you and let me know if you make it. TJ’s has some good products! The rooms looked nice before, but it has been 8 years, so this change is welcome!

    Hi Stace – you would think it would be easier to find, it’s just couscous…not some esoteric herb or spice. Go figure.

    Hi Foodbin – you are so nice.

    HI Pam – leave it to Trader Joe’s to come up with this great combination. Cooking all separately then combining would be a bit too much work for me, but I would do it with a couple of them at a time, maybe.

    Hi Jean – thank you and welcome!

    Thanks OhioMom – I wonder why Gourmet would use frozen spinach, seems like a no brainer??

    Hi Anon – me too, originally I was going to switch the dining and living rooms but that would entail purchasing more furniture and lighting, then I had this idea to switch the family room, and it really works. I still need to update my living room though.

    Hi Joan – thanks. I like all the colors and textures in this one too.

    Hi Megan – thanks and welcome!

    Hi Marla – thanks, and i can’t wait to have a dinner party here now too.

    Hi Paz – I know you found the sky shot by now. Thanks for the compliment.

  10. An elegant meal from you, in a setting like that, sitting in front of a fire. Who would ever go out to eat!!
    I’ve bought that mix from TJ’s. I really love the way you put it all together here.

  11. I love the fireplace, that is such a great change. And a wonderful side dish, healthy and delicious. I was thinking of posting my food inspiration all over the walls in my crappy Brooklyn rental kitchen. I try to keep fresh flowers in my keep me happy even when the weather can’t.

  12. what a change!!! your home is lovely… i bet, you made it more so because of your cooking… 🙂 i love your mushroom salad btw…

  13. I don’t think I have ever seen baby garbanzo before. Your side dishes look wonderful.. and creative, just like your decorating! I love the changes you made! I love having the fireplace visible when dining!

    I am looking for wallpaper. I think it’s a cyclical design element ready to make another appearance. I have gone through most of the faux paint technique idea’s but I am now ready to lay wallpaper in my kitchen/family room area! I also move furniture regularly when I get bored! 🙂

  14. I have the Harvest Grains Blend. I toss it with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Will definitely try it with spinach. Thanks!

  15. Oh, I would nap so good in that den…no TV right? Good.

    The couscous and feta would be a great side for lamb…hmmm…

  16. I made #3 tonight, or rather, something like it. My local TJ’s didn’t have the Harvest Grains Blend (they must be out of stock because I’ve seen it there before), so I just used a combination of quinoa and Israeli couscous. I added canned chickpeas and roasted red pepper (for color, completely forgetting to add the red pepper flakes — I will have to add it to the leftovers). In any case, thanks for the inspiration; it was delicious!

  17. Hi Darius – thanks and from seeing your videos, your place rocks! Love the granite!!!

    Hi Marie – they came up with a good combo, what are you doing with it? I’m sure it is fabulous.

    HI ThatGirl – can’t believe it took me so long to come up with it.

    Hi MLV – that sounds like very interesting wallpaper! A little art goes a long way. I just bought an adorable painting from Tuesday Morning for $29. Good luck with your decor! And there is nothing man-made that can top your fresh flowers.

  18. Mikky and Maria – thank you so much!

    Laurie – we are twins! I am now so into wallpaper. My next project is in my bedroom, chocolate background with huge hydrangeas.

    Thanks Lore!

    Hi Lyn – I will try yours too. Sounds good!

    Peter – first, no, no TV, I only have one in this house, some people think that is weird. That new little den is cozy and a great place to read and relax. Second, I know your wheels are turning with this side, cannot wait to see your lamb dish!

    Juliet – you made my day!

  19. The room changes looks great. We just had a new kitchen floor installed. Doesn’t it always make you feel so fresh when you make changes.

  20. This looks great, I’ve never had red quinoa before. I haven’t made any changes to the kitchen for the new year. I did a major reorganization last year around this time.

  21. I’m loving your wonderful side dishes!

    The changes in your home look wonderful. We’ve done some funky things with our spaces… the living room/sitting area is my husband’s home office, and he wants to put a pool table in the dining room (I won’t let him!!!)

  22. I know I’m writing again but.. our master bedroom is chocolate brown, cream and teal with gold and silver leaf accents! I love the richness of brown! 🙂

  23. The Cosus cous looks fantastic. What a cozy idea with the room change. Asyour family eats in style , they can dine in style too.

  24. I love what you did here, very gorgeous. I had a professional organizer at my house, and she changed everything around for better “feng shui” and I got a new kitchen! Isn’t it great to change things up a bit.

  25. HI– My friend said I should look at your blog. I did the same thing right after Thanksgiving with the help of my adult children and the OK of my husband who went off to work. We had been talking about reversing our rooms and often thought it was crazy but upon doing it, have absolutely loved it! We now have cozy beautiful sitting room (formerly dining room that was too small to open up the table all the way in comfortably). Our dining room, formerly the living room, is now this outstanding room that I look forward to having large gatherings. We had a big one at Christmas. It seems exactly the way it should have been. Our brass colonial williamsburg style chandelier remains in the sitting room ‘S’ hooked up and looks fine. Like you, the coffee table is in the way of anyone bumping into it.
    Good to know others have done the same. It makes me feel like HGTV.
    Laurie in Wisconsin

  26. Hi Sara – a year ago, that’s great! I had the same flower displays on my mantle for years. Gee, how does that happen?

    HI Nina – let me know if you make changes, I am so interested.

    HI Lori – oh, the pool table sounds fun to me…

    Financial Puzzle -wow, welcome, thanks for commenting!

    Oh Laurie, I am excited to bring in chocolate colors. I’m sure your room is beautiful, sounds like a great combination of color.

    HI Coco- thanks, it is working!

    Hi Laurie in Wisconsin – great to find my twin sister in Wisconsin too! Keep me posted on your decor. Maybe we’ll change some other rooms together!

    Lori Lynn

    P.S. NOTE ALL THE LORI/LAURIE’s in this post!!!

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