- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (4 oz) uncooked couscous
- Optional: butter
- Optional: finely chopped broccoli
- Optional: seitan, diced small
- Put the chickpeas, water, raisins, curry powder, and salt in a medium-sized pot. Set the pot on high heat, and bring the mixture to a boil (will take 3-5 minutes).
- Once the mixture is boiling, add the couscous to the pot and stir once or twice; then quickly cover the pot with a lid, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pot, and fluff the couscous mixture with a fork. Serve immediately – or continue on with the optional ingredients (instructions below).
Makes 6 servings. (1 serving = 3 ounces)
Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 124 calories, 1 g fat, 25.5 g carbohydrate, 2.3 g fiber, 5.5 g sugar, 4.5 g protein.
To customize this dish a bit, you can add one, two, or all three of the following ingredients to each individual serving of the couscous salad. (Note that each additional ingredient will change the nutritional information provided.)
- Butter: Melt 1/2 or 1 tsp of butter into the salad, and mix well.
- Broccoli: Steam 3-4 ounces of finely chopped fresh broccoli for 2-3 minutes (until the broccoli is tender but still green). If fresh broccoli is not available, microwave 3-4 ounces of frozen chopped broccoli for 1-2 minutes (until the broccoli is hot). Add the cooked, drained broccoli to the salad, and mix well.
- Seitan: Dice 2-3 ounces of seitan into bite-size pieces. Microwave the seitan for 30 seconds (or until hot), then add to the salad and mix well.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Pretty low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Quite low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Alluringly low.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Super-crazy low!
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Delightfully low.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.11
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
I was sick with a bad cold this weekend – the kind that comes with a raging headache so intense that one’s teeth actually hurt [seriously], that drains all energy from the body to the point where one’s limbs just feel limp [I was so exhausted that I slept an extra 3-4 hours each day], that produces tissue after tissue after tissue of gross green stuff [sorry, but it’s true…], and that renders taste buds 95% ineffective [which doesn’t exactly bode well for a cooking blog]. Despite illness, I still have to eat – so this week I scoured my recipe file looking for inspiration for a dish that was very easy to make, super-nutritious, and that packed a wallop of a taste bud punch [with the hopes that I might actually be able to taste some of it…]. And voila – a healthy looking sweet-and-savory dish with some pungent Indian accents. Winner!
Indeed, the chickpea/raisin/couscous combination really worked for me: the earthiness of the chickpeas, contrasting with the sweetness of the raisins, balanced with the cohesive texture of the couscous, kept my mouth interested and surprised – but not confused or disgusted. I chose to also add the butter, broccoli, and seitan to my dish – and the additional green component elevated the meal, and made it incredibly visually compelling. The bowl of enhanced couscous salad looked so bright, healthy, and alive! I was really excited to eat it.
I took a few bites of the ‘plain’ salad (i.e., without any of the extra ingredients), as well as the ‘deluxe’ version – and both variations tasted bland to me. Now granted, I really can’t taste a whole lot right now – so this dish might actually contain lots of robust flavors. However, I didn’t perceive much by way of seasonings in the dish – so I went ahead and added some additional sprinkles of curry and salt right to my individual serving. Then it was a lot better. :)
If I were to make this recipe again, I would probably double the amount of both the curry and salt used. With the taste of the curry more dominant, this recipe is a winner! A healthy, pretty, tasty, fast, flexible meal – sounds like a keeper to me. :)