Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Couscous, little yellow grains of semolina, made from durum wheat, is a good source of protein with 100g of couscous giving just over 15g of protein and is a slow burning source of energy (a "medium" on the GI, for those who watch that kind of thing). It tastes a lot like bulghur but lighter and with a nutty taste - kind of a cross between pasta and wheat. Instant couscous takes about 10 minutes to make and is great either warm or as a salad.

Some couscous ideas:

*Couscous mixed with olives, cashews and cherry tomatoes
*Couscous with watercress, feta cheese and radish
*Mediterranean Pinenut Couscous salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and baby spinach
*Couscous with spinach and garbanzo beans, drizzled with yoghurt
*Roasted peppers stuffed with couscous, nuts, crasins and ground beef
*Couscous and almonds drizzled with fresh lemon juice
*Breakfast couscous made with whole milk, instead of water. Add honey or raisins, or splenda, if you like a sweet cereal.
*Couscous in soup is also excellent,

Couscous couldn't be easier to make. If you want to use it for a salad, just take a serving bowl and add the desired amount of couscous (I find that half a cup per person works well) and cover with boiling water. The aim is for all of the water to be absorbed, and for the couscous to swell, so I find it's usually better to add too much water than not enough, otherwise your couscous will not cook and will remain hard and crunchy. You can eat your couscous hot, or let it cool down and eat it in a salad, cold. One of the bonuses of couscous is the short preparation time - I make my salads in about 8 minutes in the morning, and I know I have a nutritious meal ready for lunch time.

A more traditional way is illustrated by the following recipe:

Couscous with veggies and almonds

1 red or orange or green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c slivered almonds or other nuts as desired
Chopped parsley or cilantro - if desired
Olive oil or butter - abt. 2 tblsp, but vary according to taste

Sauté the vegetables in the fat until the onions are translucent. Reduce heat.


1 cup of couscous

Stir with vegetables until the couscous becomes well-coated and there is a good, nutty smell from the pan.


1- 1 1/4 c. water, broth, wine, even OJ

Simmer until almost all of the water is absorbed on low heat, about 8 -10 minutes.

This is wonderful eaten warm, either by itself or as a side dish, and is great for a salad.


SignGurl said...

I've got to try couscous. I've always wanted to but haven't.

Balloon Pirate said...

My favorite way to cook couscous is putting it in a strainer, and placing it on the lip of my big (covered) soup pot while making broth. I let it sit for an hour or so while the broth reduces, then i will either add it to the soup when i make it, or serve it as a side.