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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.

Ingredients

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.

Couscous

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.)

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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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