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Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas

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This recipe in the June issue of Food Network Magazine caught my eye; fresh, healthy, easy and yummy—and you can find almost all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s.

CousCous with Blackeyed Peas.2

I much prefer Israeli couscous (a/k/a pearl couscous, or maftoul) to smaller, traditional couscous. Made from “pasta pearls,” it has the same texture and satisfying toothsome bite as pasta. (Try Near East Basil & Herb Pearled Couscous for a quick and easy side dish.)

Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous

I forgot to pick up a lime at Trader Joe’s (why do I ALWAYS forget a key ingredient?!), and anyway, I thought the lime and chili rub might be

  • a) a bit plain, and
  • b) a bit spicy for hubby

And so the tweaking began…

– lemon for lime

– a bit of Cumin, and TJ’s lovely South African Smoke Seasoning Blend, and you have a mediterranean dish with a South African twist!

Ground Cumin

South African Smoke Spice










I’d never heard of black-eyed peas until I started making my Cowboy Caviar—now my favorite and most popular savory recipe.

Cowboy Caviar.FB.1

THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—healthy dip/salad/snack >>

If you haven’t tried it yet, take the leftover black-eyed peas and make a batch! (I also love the cumin in this recipe.)

I used Allens canned black-eyed peas in both recipes, but you can use frozen too.

Allens Blackeyed Peas

You can find them at Gelsons Market

If you can’t find them, substitute with black beans or even edemame!

Gourmet Blends slightly sweet White Balsamic Vinegar and fruity Meyer Lemon Olive Oil add the perfect finishing touches. If you don’t have them, a splash of lemon and a pinch of sugar will do.

Gourmet Blends White Balsamic and Meyer Lemon

You can purchase Leonardo e Roberto’s Gourmet Blends Balsamics and Olive Oils at >>

Turkey Cutlets with hummus and potatoes

Serve with Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus—sprinkled with a little Paprika to make it look pretty.

Eggplant Hummus

Only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus value for 2 tablespoons

I wasn’t sure if picky hubby or picky toddler would go for the couscous-with-veggies-side (they didn’t), so I made the pan-roasted potatoes for backup.

Potatoes with Dill

Orna’s super-easy Pan-Roasted Potatoes

See Trader Joe’s Shopping List for how to make them >>

Wrap the leftovers (sans potatoes) in a Whole Wheat Middle Eastern Flatbread for a tasty lunch!

Whole Wheat Middle Eastern Flatbread


Orna’s Notes

Trader Joe’s cutlets can be a little tough. Next time I’ll try some from Whole Foods and see how they turn out.

I’ll also add a couple of diced Persian Cucumbers at the end, to up the veggies and give a bit of a crunch.

Cool Tools

Masterclad  Pro Series Non-stick 12-inch sauté pan >>

Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas

12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values per serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


  • Trader Joe's Ground Cumin
  • Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning Blend or sweet or smoked paprika and garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon plus extra for the couscous
  • 1 package Trader Joe's turkey cutlets
  • 1 cup Trader Joe's Israeli couscous
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup Trader Joe's Roasted Corn thawed (for extra smokey, charred flavor, but plain would work fine too)
  • 1 cup of frozen black-eyed peas thawed (I used Allen's canned black-eyed peas; rinsed and drained)
  • 1 large or two small stalks celery finely chopped
  • ¾ cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced (green and white parts)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil I used basil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil recommend: Trader Joe's Extra Virgin California Estate Olive Oil
  • Gourmet Blends White Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 - 1 tablespoon (or a splash of Trader Joe's rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar)
  • Gourmet Blends Meyer Lemon Olive Oil 1/2 - 1 tablespoon (or regular olive oil and a squeeze of lemon)
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water I use my hot water tap


  • Cover a baking sheet with heavy foil; lay the turkey cutlets on it and blot dry with a paper towel. Squeeze the lemon juice on both sides of the cutlets.
  • Sprinkle them on both sides with cumin (not too much), smoke seasoning blend, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 - 30 minutes.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup couscous and a large pinch of kosher salt and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 1/4 cups boiling water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. (Check after 8 for tenderness and to see if you need to add a little more water.) Remove from heat, stir and leave uncovered.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, black-eyed peas and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, scallions, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until warmed through, about 2 more minutes.
  • Transfer to a large bowl; add the couscous to the bowl and drizzle with lemon olive oil (add less for a lighter version) and white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add regular extra virgin olive oil and a splash of lemon if you don't have the lemon olive oil, and a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity. It's all about balancing the flavor so taste and add more seasoning and dressing if you need it—start with less and add! Add basil, toss. (If serving the next day add basil before serving.)
  • Wipe out the skillet; add about 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 3 - 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Don't crowd the pan; do it in two batches if necessary. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with salt and pepper if necessary.

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