Saturday, October 19, 2013

Couscous with Vegetables, Nuts and Spices.


The other day I was asked to provide a side dish at our local church for twenty people. I wondered what I could possibly cook that would give a nice burst of flavor but was good-natured enough to to sit around all day and have the option of being warmed up or not as the case might be. Couscous surely is the answer plus it's beyond easy to make.  I cooked this up in about ten minutes after I rolled out of bed this morning and if you knew me better you would understand I'm up to very little until I've had a chance for the caffeine to fully kick in.  I used wholewheat couscous which I think tastes just as good, if not better in fact than regular. A sprinkle of spices and the addition of dried fruit, nuts and veggies takes a staple carbohydrate into a joyful experience.



Couscous with Vegetables, Nuts and Spices.
The following has been pared down to feed 6 hungry people.

1 1/2 cups couscous (wholewheat or regular)
3 cups water
A drop of olive oil
Pinch of salt

A couple of tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
salt and pepper
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 red pepper (diced)
1 yellow pepper (diced)


For the dressing:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4-6 tablespoons olive oil - (to taste)
salt and pepper

To cook the couscous bring the water and olive oil to a boil in a saucepan.  When boiling add the couscous, place a lid on the pan and remove from heat.  Leave for five minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, add the onions, sprinkle with salt and saute for about 7-9 minutes until translucent.  Add the spices, stir well and allow to saute for another few minutes. Enjoy the aroma!

Place the couscous, onion mixture, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, almonds, parsley and peppers together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing combine all the ingredients in a jar, screw the lid on tight and shake it up well. Taste to check the seasonings, pour over the couscous and toss together.  Taste, it may need an additional squeeze of lemon, or sprinkle of salt, pepper and parsley.  Serve - when needed!


23 comments:

  1. Nuts and dried fruit are the perfect combination with cous cous but I've never tried a dressing with maple syrup but I can just imagine how delicious it would be.

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  2. I would totally enjoy this cous-cous with dried fruits and nuts...The dressing is delightful.

    Velva

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  3. This looks delicious. The combination of ingredients sound wonderful. I really need to put this on my list to make.

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  4. I am always perplexed when I have to provide a dish that will stand the test of time. Great idea with the couscous and plus it's healthy. Great idea Mary.
    Sam

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  5. looks delicious and beautiful, too!

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  6. This sounds really good, Mary. I love the sound of the spices and the crunch given by the almonds and seeds! This is one to keep!

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  7. Wow, look at the color........
    you've captured it beautifully too my frieend, salute for your photography skil!

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  8. a delicious way to enjoy couscous!Love the addition of fruit and nuts!
    Kisses,dear!

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  9. I'm one of the few who haven't tried couscous yet *sigh* :D Some says that it taste like pasta so I think I would like it lol Love the look of your simple dish , it got loads flavor and texture , very appetizing !

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  10. I love the combination of flavours in this healthy and filling salad. Excellent!

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  11. Mary,
    What a beautiful, healthy, side dish with flavors of Fall. and it looks pretty, too.

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  12. I can make a bowl of this and eat it for three days. So gorgeous Mary! I can't function before my coffee and need some time 'of nothing' in the morning before I start talking!

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  13. Beautiful, Mary. And good for you! I've made something similar and I always love how pretty it looks!

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  14. what a pretty, pretty dish! I could have this with seconds.

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  15. I love bringing salads like this to work for lunch and the sweet and spicy flavors in this one are just perfect!

    Sues

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  16. I don't use couscous as much as I should, thanks for the friendly reminder!

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  17. Mary, I like the way you jazzed up that couscous!

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  18. If there's a couscous recipe that is sure to be a winner at this house Mary, this is it! It has all the makings of a fun, excitement with a healthy dose of yummy goodness!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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  19. That looks fabulous Mary. I do so love a good couscous salad! Putting this on my to do list! xxoo

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  20. Mary, I've never used whole wheat couscous. What a super idea, making this dish even healthier. Love all the fruit and nuts and your dressing sounds wonderful!

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  21. Pumpkin seeds? This is creative cooking and I know that this dish is delish! Full of flavors!!
    Yum!

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  22. I adore this lovely side dish!! I'm definitely going to be trying this out!!

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