Couscous is one of my pantry staples. It's seriously magic; it's an easy base carb that you can whip up in seconds. All that's required to cook it is an equal amount of boiling water. I use it constantly, and generally have some cooked sitting in the fridge. Here are two easy ways I eat couscous!
1. Buddha Bowl
So this might genuinely be the easiest thing in the world to make. This is my go-to meal to either take with me to uni, or whip up when I get home and I'm starving.
The key to couscous is to add some kind of flavour to it. I poured boiling water into an almost-empty pesto jar and used that to cook the couscous for this bowl (remember: equal parts of couscous and boiling water-I used two thirds of a cup of each for this recipe).
You can use whatever toppings you like, just try to make sure you get in lots of different nutrients. Here I've got beans and hummus for protein and some avocado for healthy fats. Then I added some chopped red onion, chopped spring onion, sundried tomatoes, fetta, green olives and cucumber. Honestly, I just grab whatever is in my fridge and make a meal with it. It's the perfect lazy meal.
2. Moroccan Couscous Salad
I make this recipe in bulk at least once every two weeks. It's so simple and is great to take to uni for lunch (if you're like me it's more you inevitably forget to take lunch with you then stuff your face with this when you get home).
I cup couscous
I cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
handful of garlic cloves, skin on
50g slivered almonds
1/2 capsicum, diced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
handful of spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Chopped tomato to serve
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Remove skin from pumpkin and cut into cubes. Place in oven-proof dish with garlic and coat in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Bake pumpkin for 40-60 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned.
3. Place almonds in a pan on low heat until toasted.
4. Place couscous, sultanas and vegetable stock in a heatproof bowl. Add in boiling water and make sure all couscous is soaked. Leave to sit for a few minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
5. Add pumpkin, almonds, capsicum, spring onion and spinach to couscous and combine.
6. Peel roasted garlic and mince. Place in small bowl with lemon juice, spices and a glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Pour over couscous mixture and mix through well.
7. Serve with chopped tomatoes (I find they get a tad soggy if I put them in the salad then leave it in the fridge). Also nice topped with avocado and/or hummus!
Note: For protein, I generally coat some chicken breast or thigh in a moroccan spice blend and roast it in the oven then eat that on top. I've also added chickpeas to this salad before, though!
The great thing about couscous is that it's versatile; it soaks up any flavour you put with it. I've made a great Italian-style couscous salad by adding in chopped herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives, feta, roast capsicum, capers and other things I found in my fridge. It's a great ingredient for easy just-throw-it-together meals, and is the perfect student staple.
I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to salad ideas like this, which you can check out here.