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.
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.)