Food & Drink Magazine

Edible Thursday: Creative Couscous

By Linsibrownson @CleverSpark

Right now seems like an especially hectic time.  Whether you have kids returning to school (I don’t) or are just seeing your work and social calendar pick up, fall tends to symbolize the beginning of seriously busy months ahead.  Which leads me to the thought that eating well can be even more difficult when you’re running around like mad all day.  Who wants to open the fridge at the end of the day – when you’re starving , I might add – and find nothing to eat?  Nobody.  So it’s important to have food around that will tone down the stress of dinnertime.

I could talk for years on this idea, but today I’m just going to focus on one pantry staple that is super easy to make, versatile and delicious: Couscous.  I think it gets overlooked sometimes because most people don’t really know what to do with it – or they have one recipe, and you can only eat that so often.

So today I’m sharing some Outside the Box Couscous Recipes so you will never get sick of it.

1. Baked Parmesan Couscous – one of the most surprisingly delicious version I’ve ever had.  This comes out like lasagna, so finally couscous gets its due as a main dish!

Baked Parmesan Couscous

Saute your vegetables (we used zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and green beans.  This is a great opportunity to use up lots of leftover vegetables).  Meanwhile, cook your couscous in vegetable or chicken stock.  If you bought the couscous in a box with a seasoning packet, toss that out.  You don’t need it for this recipe, plus it usually contains more than half the day’s recommended sodium intake.

Combine the cooked couscous and vegetables, along with a spoonful of mayonnaise.  Pour into a casserole dish and top with about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and bake on 375 for 20 minutes.

2. Moroccan Couscous

Combine raisins (I prefer golden, but whatever), about 1 tsp of Turmeric, sliced almonds and fresh chopped mint to taste.  Add to cooked couscous while it’s still hot and stick it in the fridge.  This one is better cold and is great for bringing to work the next day.

3. Couscous Crust – for quiche

Oh so simple, cook your couscous as usual with stock.  Then mash it into an oiled pie plate , but don’t spread it super thin.  It gets a little sticky so you may want to use a piece of foil or a Silpat to assist in mashing.  Bake about 15 minutes at 375.  Keep an eye on it – you’ll finish baking it with the filling so be careful not to cook it fully.

4. Couscous Soup – I haven’t tried this one, but it cooks in 10 minutes and soup is one of the best parts of fall.

couscous_soup_recipe from 101 Cookbooks

This is from 101Cookbooks – see the full recipe here

5. Couscous Cake - Dessert?  Yes.  And it’s delicious.

couscous cake fron vegan planet

There are a bunch of recipes for variations on this at Vegan Planet.  This one is a simple Breakfast Cake with Plum and Pear Compote.

There, don’t you feel less stressed already?  And hungry…

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