Couscous: a quick weeknight dinner idea

After my run and metro delays, I was ravenous by the time I got home at 8:40pm. Lack of proper grocery shopping meant I didn’t have anything to just pop in the microwave. Usually cereal or a PBJ sandwich are my fall back for such situations, but tonight I wanted something hot, spicy, tasty, filling, etc.

So this is what I did:

In a pan, I heated some olive oil and added a small chopped onion and garlic. While the onions softened I chopped all the forgotten vegetables from the crisper. This included half a zucchini, baby eggplant, orange bell pepper, tomato, and spinach.  I added the zucchini and eggplant to the pan. Sprinkled some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and let the heat do its thing.

Meanwhile, I boiled some water to make whole wheat couscous (I add a tablespoon of cumin to it). That took 5 minutes. Once done, I dumped the couscous in a bowl, added the grilled vegetables, and topped the whole thing with the chopped tomatoes, spinach, and orange bell pepper. Then I spotted a can of beets and decided to add those to the party as well.

Believe me, typing this post took longer than making the actual dish. If I had more time, I would have added olives, beans, hummus, olive oil, raisins, slivered almonds, etc. But even without those things, this was exactly what I needed to end the day.

This one wasn’t rocket science. Give it a try because you can’t mess it up. In addition to being colorful, quick, healthy, and tasty it’s a great way to clean up the fridge. And there were enough leftovers to take for lunch.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

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