The really fast meal that you throw together when you want to quickly stuff your face with healthy food. I practically lived off variations of this dish in my first few years of motherhood. In this recipe, I’ve listed the vegetables and spices that I use most often, but I’ll let you in on a secret: you can play around with whatever scraps and bits are in your fridge. This recipe is perfect for that.

No zucchini? No problem. Use eggplant or bell peppers instead; really just use whatever you love or have on hand! The trick isn’t in the veggies you use — the important things are adding the right amount of spices, cooking your veggies until they’re nice and tender, and getting the couscous to the ideal consistency.

Make this to fill your belly with delicious food in a very short amount of time, and then get back to work, relaxing, or whatever else you’re trying to squeeze into your day.

15-Minute Vegetable Couscous

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup (100 g) diced mushrooms (your favorite variety)
  • 1 cup (124 g) cubed zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅓ to ½ cup (50 to 75 g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup (164 g) cooked or canned chickpeas
  • ¾ cup (130 g) dried Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Handful of fresh greens
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Sliced avocado to taste (optional)

Preparation

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the onion is translucent.

2. Mix in the zucchini and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the zucchini shrinks down and has released some of its liquid. Add the spices and the remaining olive oil and mix.

3. Turn up the heat just a tad and add the cherry tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of salt. After the tomatoes begin to slightly blister, add the chickpeas, couscous, water, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and stir.

4. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer lightly until almost all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast, greens, fresh basil, and mix everything together.

5. When the liquid has completely evaporated, your quick, healthy meal is ready. Top with slices of avocado or more greens, then plop yourself down to enjoy!

Recipe from The Plantiful Table: Easy, From-the-Earth Recipes for the Whole Family, copyright © Andrea Duclos, 2015. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com


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