Well, I can only take partial credit for this one. Here’s how this oh-so-easy couscous dish came together:
Many years ago, my good friend B invited Wife and me over for a dinner of couscous-and-veggie-stuffed roasted bell peppers–yum! I refused to leave without the recipe, and Wife and I had the dish several times over the next few months. The only problem was the labor involved–each bell pepper had to be carefully cut open and seeded, then propped upright to roast, then peeled, then propped upright again, then stuffed, then propped upright for further cooking–all without busting open the pepper. This process was messy and often less than successful, and the difficulty really didn’t do much to motivate me to cook instead of order take-out.
Enter the “deconstructed” version: Instead of roasting whole bell peppers, I chopped them and sauteed them with onion and garlic, then added them to couscous for a dish that is really delicious served hot or as a cold salad. Still delish, but way less messy.
I made this today for my friends who just welcomed their beautiful daughter into the world! They need healthful dinners for a speedily recovering mama, so I’m hoping they enjoy this very summery dish.
Couscous Un-Stuffed Peppers
1-2 bell peppers, any color(s), chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup or so dry couscous (boxed & flavored or plain/whole wheat)
water and/or veggie broth
4 cups spinach, chopped
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Saute your chopped peppers, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until slightly softened. Set aside.
2. Cook your couscous. If you’re using the flavored kind (Extra Lazy Version!), cook with water according to the directions on the package. If you bought the non-flavored kind (Trader Joe’s has nice whole wheat couscous), use a water/broth combo. Example: if the package calls for 2 cups of liquid, use 1 cup water and 1 cup broth. Cooking couscous generally involves boiling the liquid, then adding the couscous and immediately removing from heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. So easy, and impossible to overcook!
3. Once your couscous has absorbed all the liquid, stir your chopped spinach into the prepared couscous. You can do this in a big bowl if your couscous pot is small. Do this while the couscous is still pretty warm so it wilts the spinach a bit.
4. Add the peppers/onion/garlic to your couscous mixture and combine.
5. If you’re serving this sucker hot, serve it and top with the tomatoes. If you’re serving it cold, let the mixture cool a bit, stir in the tomatoes, and refrigerate until it’s time to eat.
Note: If you’re eating with lacto types and not opposed to giving them the option, this salad is great with feta sprinkled on top.
Calories: middlin’, Fat: low, Easiness: quite, Awesomeness: 8 out of 10