Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Step Away From the Box Part 1

We all know those prepackaged boxed foods, taste great and are very convenient, but are they healthy for you? Deep down we know that they are usually loaded with sodium and so many ingredients that you can't even pronounce. So in an attempt to get back to more "real" food and with the onset of summer, one of my favorite side dishes is couscous. I like couscous so much in summer because it takes boiling water, then you turn it off the heat so it doesn't heat up my kitchen too much. I have found though that even though I like the taste of some of those boxed brands they can be quite expensive. So you can imagine how I jumped at the chance to start buying my couscous in bulk and figuring out the right spices. This is the most basic recipe, once you have this one nailed then you can start adding all sorts of other ingredients to fit the theme of your dinner.
Basic Couscous Recipe:
1 1/4 cup of water
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 cup couscous
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes (or 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat water and oil to boil, add couscous cover and remove from heat.
2. After five minutes add seasoning and fluff/mix in seasoning (taste till you get the right salt and pepper to taste at the end)
*Couldn't be easier and it is the perfect summer side dish to anything, from burgers to grilled chicken. Fill free to add other items (scallions, pine nuts, golden raisins -all of these are classic couscous additions)

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