Couscous – Yumyum

Now that quinoa bandwagon is full… it’s time to return to one of my favourite carb staples – couscous. The reason why I love couscous is because it’s incredibly quick and easy to cook. For a rice-lover like me, it does the job in a quarter of the cooking time and still satisfies. Anyone who has ever cooked rice on stove top can relate to the times when the rice over-cooks or under-cooks, or when there’s too much water so it’s soppy or when there’s too little water so it burns at the bottom, or (this is the worst) when the rice in the pot somehow bubbles over while it’s simmering and makes a huge goopy mess… Yeah yeah, rice cooker… but it’s not available all the time!

When I was working in Toronto short term, I strayed from my Asian roots and made couscous my staple carb. It’s actually a staple food across North Africa cuisines, in places like Morroco, Algeria and Libya. Again, I can’t stress how much time and energy it saved me at the end of a long work day just because you can’t really screw up cooking couscous. I also love how it soaks up all the stew and sauce from my other dishes, making it flavourful in every bite.

Quinoa has been trending as a super-grain lately (to the demise of farmers in Peru and Bolivia who can’t afford to keep their own food). Although couscous is not as “nutritious” as quinoa in terms of mineral content (when did you last consciously intake food with more minerals?), it’s comparable calorie wise:

Couscous (left) VS. Quinoa (right)

couscous nutrition quinoa nutrition

How to prepare couscous:

  1. Measure couscous and water (1:2 ratio)
  2. Bring water to boil
  3. Stir in couscous
  4. Turn off the heat, and cover and let stand. Come back in 5 minutes!
  5. Fluff with fork

common couscous

You can find this in most large grocery retailers in Canada.

cooking couscous1

Informal measuring of 2 bowls of water and 1 bowl of couscous…

cooking couscous2

Pour in couscous when water boils.

cooking couscous3

Stir couscous so it evenly soaks. Turn off heat and cover. Come back in 5 minutes! Stress-free 5 minutes.

cooking couscous4By the end of 5 minutes, the couscous should be cooked. Fluff it with a fork. Good and ready to eat!