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Mid-Week Power Player: Meet Couscous

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Mid-Week Power Player: Meet Couscous

I end up working late during the week more often than not. This is dangerous for me because In N Out is right on my way home (okay, it’s really not, but I will drive miles out of my way for those animal fries when given the chance), and it’s so tempting to just get take-out instead of cooking until 9.

Couscous is my hero on those nights. 15 minutes and dinner is served. Boil water, throw it in a bowl with olive oil and dry couscous, then cover. (Yes, that’s all.)

Traditionally, stews or meat dishes are served over couscous, but I like my couscous as a warm vegetarian salad.

You can pretty much throw whatever you want in there. Seriously, every vegetable and spice I’ve ever tried has worked with couscous. It’s a miracle food. So as long as you have some sort of vegetable on hand, dinner is covered.

Tip: If you need to go gluten-free, there are many new gluten-free “couscous” options out there, such as Lundberg’s Brown Rice Couscous. Or you can use quinoa in place of couscous. Check the water ratio on the box and adjust below.


2 1/2 cups dry couscous

1 cup water

4 T olive oil

1/2 large bell pepper, chopped

4 T yellow onion, minced

4 T fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)

feta or goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Combine the pepper, onion, basil and tomatoes in a small bowl. Sprinkle liberally with salt and set aside. The salt will draw out the moisture of the vegetables and basil, allowing the flavors to blend in a shorter amount of time.

Combine ingredients with salt

Bring the water, 2 T of olive oil & a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water mixture on top of the dry couscous in a large bowl. Stir until all the couscous is sufficiently wet then add:

-the remaining 2 T of olive oil

-vegetables & basil

-salt & pepper

Cover the bowl with foil and let sit for ten minutes.

Then uncover, fluff with a fork and serve. Top with the feta or goat cheese.


I’m not big on putting meat in my couscous; I generally serve chicken on the side if anything. That said, I know people who swear bacon or sausage in couscous is God-sent. So whatever floats your boat, guys.

If you’re not a fan of raw onions, go ahead and cook them in that extra 2 T of olive oil. You’re adding it anyway, and it doesn’t matter if it’s hot! You want some garlic? Do it. Cucumber? Go for it.

Any vegetable will work in couscous. I even like adding red grapes. So get creative!

(Don’t try raspberries. That backfired on me hardcore. But strawberries were delicious when I added them, so go figure.)


About kaitlin

I am a coffee addict, music lover, book devourer, and heat seeker, living, writing & cooking in beautiful, foggy San Francisco, CA.

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