Beautifully tinted a light green color, this is not your average, everyday couscous. It makes an excellent side dish to just about any fare.

Green Tea Couscous

Ingredients

1 T virgin olive oil

4 scallions finely chopped

1 ½ c chicken or vegetable stock

1 single serve bag green tea

2 T honey

1 ½ c couscous

½ c finely chopped mint leaves = couple of handfuls

½ seedless cucumber – peeled and chopped

1 lemon – juiced

1 lime – juiced

Salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and add the scallion. Season with salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 min. Add stock and bring to a boil, secure tea bag to handle of pot and let steep for 1 min. Remove tea bag, stir in honey and couscous. Turn off heat, stir in mint and cover the pot, Let couscous stand 5 min then fluff with fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cucumber, lemon and lime juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste toss to combine and serve.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Jasmine Kaloudis, Yoga Teacher, Philadelphia.*

Do It Yourself: 3 Eco-Friendly Projects for Your House

Going green around the home can mean a lot of things. Some green additions require major home improvements such as installing solar panels or upgrading to a tankless water heater, while others are just small tasks like converting to CFL or LED bulbs and conserving water by taking shorter showers.

If you’ve done the little things, but aren’t quite ready to start redesigning your house, there’s also a middle ground: DIY eco-friendly projects. With a little bit of environmental awareness and some willingness to get your hands dirty, there are plenty of DIY fixes and tweaks you can complete around the house that are also great for the environment.

Here are three of our favorites:

1. Make Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products. Everyone likes to have a clean house, but it turns out that many store-bought cleaners rely on powerful chemicals like ammonia and bleach to get the job done. These products may remove dirt and grime, but they can also leave behind traces of these chemicals wherever they’re used. To keep the toxins out of your house, try making your own cleaning products! With a few common household items like baking soda, lemon and vinegar, you can build an eco-friendly cleaning arsenal in no time. Visit the BrightNest blog for seven specific eco-friendly recipes.

2. Make a Compost Bin. Composting has increased in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason! Using compost on your lawn is a great eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fertilizer, which can pollute your groundwater and put you at a higher risk for serious illnesses like leukemia. Making a compost bin only takes about 30 minutes, and can be done with nothing more than a garbage can, drill, two bricks and some duct tape. For a step-by-step guide, read: Make a Compost Bin.

3. Upcycle Dryer Lint. You might not consider the fuzz you pull out of your dryer’s lint screen an eco-friendly tool, but it is! Instead of tossing the dryer lint you collect, keep it around and use it for a number of mini-DIY projects. If you stuff some lint into a toilet paper tube, it serves as a great piece of kindling for fires. If you already have a compost bin, add some lint to the mix to give your DIY fertilizer some weed prevention qualities. For a few more ideas, read: Upcycle This: Dryer Lint.

About BrightNest

BrightNest is a free online service that provides people with the tools, tips and motivation they need to keep their home in great shape and save money. Sign up for personalized tips and weekly reminders and visit our blog for more ideas and inspiration on home decor, cleaning, organizing, DIY projects and much more.

Little ones will enjoy this hearty carrot cake for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

Carrot Oat Cake

Ingredients

Natural cooking spray oil
1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dried currants
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly oil a (9-inch) square baking pan and set it aside.

Pulse oats and walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well. In a second large bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, currants, coconut and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool before cutting into squares.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*