Don’t let the bustle of back-to-school season keep you from the important people in your life–make time to sit down and share a meal with your familia.
For a sabroso family-style Meatless Monday, try one of my all-time favorite vegan dishes: Moroccan vegetable couscous.
¿Qué es couscous?
This grain-like pasta is easy to prepare and is a healthy choice. In addition to being low in calories and fat, couscous is packed with carbohydrates that give you long-lasting energy and antioxidants that keep your immune system strong–a perfect food to keep your family fueled for work or school.
I fell in love with couscous while living in Southern France, where I first tried this couscous recipe rich in vegetables and flavors of North Africa.
Moroccan Vegetable Couscous Recipe
- 3 cups whole grain couscous and 4 ½ cups water
- Olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 handful cilantro
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 qt. vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 3 large carrots, cut in 2-inch sticks
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut in 1 ½-inch chunks
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbs.sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 handful mint, chopped
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Heat olive oil in pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 15 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. Saute 5 minutes. Add herbs, tomatoes, stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Ingredients are added gradually to allow flavors to develop–take your time and enjoy the process!
- Add carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, raisins, chickpeas and sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare couscous. Bring 4 ½ cups of water to a boil (the ratio is 1 cup water: ⅔ cup couscous), then remove from heat and stir in the couscous with a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes. Gently break apart and fluff the cooked couscous with a fork.
- Serve by pouring the vegetable mix over couscous. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and mint leaves.
Everyone will want seconds of this delicious dish!
As a vegetarian, I am always looking for ways to add variety to my diet. Couscous is a delicious staple perfect for changing up your routine. Substitute couscous for quinoa, which I describe in Meatless Monday: Summer Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Salad Recipe, or rice in your favorite dishes. While I usually enjoy couscous hot, I can’t wait to try this cold lemon cucumber couscous recipe. Healthy eating never gets old!
Eating nutritious foods is important. So is being with people you love. Take time to sit down with family and friends and linger over a sabroso couscous dish.
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.
What is your favorite couscous recipe?