Tuesday, November 10, 2009

calico couscous

This dish is so good, especially served alongside grilled chicken or fish. My husband even loved it (and he's wary of all things with fruit). He went back for seconds before he had finished the rest of his meal. He gave me a look and said, "Don't think I don't know what you are doing...sneaking fruit into my dinner..." - and then he scarfed it down! 

NOTE: If you've never had couscous before, you can find it near the rice in your grocery store.

In a small saucepan, bring a cup of water to boil. Once it's boiling, stir in 3/4 cup couscous.  Immediately, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.  Keep that cover on for a good five minutes.  Then, fluff the couscous with a fork...easy! 

While your couscous is doing its thing, prepare the veggies to go in the dish.  I use 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 cup of peppers (I used pre-frozen since I didn't have any fresh ones at the moment), and 1 green onion.

Dice your veggies, and put the carrot, celery, and peppers in a microwavable dish with about a half cup water.  Cover it and cook in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes (or until they get as tender as you want).

While your veggies are in the microwave...and your couscous is doing its thing...quickly whip up the dressing.  Grab a small Tupperware dish with a tight fitting lid and dump in three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon Dijon mustard (you can use regular mustard, but it really doesn't taste as good), a quarter teaspoon salt, and a quarter teaspoon pepper.  Plop the lid on...make sure it's good and tight...and shake away!  Voila!

Now it's time to put it all together.  Put your couscous in a large bowl.  Add your microwaved veggies (be sure to drain them first!).  Then toss in your green onion...and don't forget a half cup of dried cranberries (they make this dish)...and then the dressing.

Stir it up and enjoy!  This is a great make-ahead dish...the more time it sits, the more time the flavors have to marry each other.  Marriage is always a good thing...especially with these flavors.

Calico Couscous

1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup red or yellow pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In a small saucepan, bring water to boil. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

In the meantime, place celery, carrots, and pepper in a microwave bowl; pour water to cover the vegetables, cover, and microwave for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

In a serving bowl, combine the couscous, cooked vegetables, onion, and cranberries. In a jar or Tupperware dish with tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serves 6.

Nutrition: 148 cal, 3g fat, og saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 28g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 3g protein, 54% vit. A, 37% vit. C, 2% calcium, 4% iron.


  1. Yum! I love couscous & am always looking for different ways to prepare it - this looks great!

  2. Ok, so I finally got around to making this today and I love it! The blend of flavors is fantastic, with the kick of the pepper offset by the sweet of the cranberries. I will definitely make it again, plus it is so much better for you than the way I usually make couscous, which, as you can probably guess, involves cheese!


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