The first time Paul bought couscous and served it to me, I was so underwhelmed. I even threw most of the remainder of the container away. (Yes! And I believe in no waste!) But I learned it was just because I didn't know how to cook it. Now, granted, I only know three ways to use it now--this one, tabouleh, and Mexican-style. But I know that I'm broadening my horizons, and each time we eat it we are doing our bodies good.
I've made this recipe before, but with "white" couscous. The recipe in Mollie Katzen's Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less called for whole wheat. Because this is an effort to lose baby-weight, I'm all for sticking to the more healthy option. surprisingly, I couldn't tell a difference in the taste--unlike when we tried whole wheat pasta. I'm all for switching to whole wheat couscous permanently, even in my tabouleh.
One thing I love about couscous, which should make me eat it more, is that it requires little attention on the cook's part and makes dinner be on the table in about 25 minutes. In case no one ever told you, let me explain: boil water in a microwave (mine takes about 5 minutes) add the couscous and stir; replace lid quickly; make the rest of the meal while letting couscous absorb water for 15 minutes. I often add a little extra water because I find the couscous can come out a little grainy. The cool thing was that my great-aunt and -uncle were visiting from Louisiana, and I cooked the couscous while they were here. My surprisingly adventurous Aunt Isabelle had never had it before and tried some. Granted it was plain. I wish she had been able to stay for dinner and see the finished product.
I didn't have green onions or chives (thanks to the freeze really messing up my herb garden). So, I skipped the herbs all together and made sauteed spinach with onion and garlic. The strong flavors in that seemed to offset the slightly sweet couscous. I also pulled out some popovers, which Paul's dad had made two weeks ago from the freezer. That recipe came from the Moosewood Restaurant Soups and Stews card deck.
Remember how The Full Plate Diet encourages high fiber to help lose weight? We get the same concept with this recipe plus the added fiber and iron from the spinach (one of the top five vegetables with the highest fiber. The fiber count for the couscous and spinach dishes is about 9g--about 1/3 the recommended daily intake. Plus, if you're the type that worries about vegetarian's not getting enough protein, the couscous recipe alone gets you 6g/serving (3/4 cup). I'd say, this is an excellent, healthy, and amazingly delicious dinner to add to your repertoire.