Three delicious couscous salad recipes, and how to steam couscous correctly
Preparing couscous is very simple, because it is a very gentle procedure that doesn’t even involve cooking. Couscous only needs to steam in hot water. I’ll show you what you have to keep in mind to get it done correctly.
Preparing couscous completely without cooking
Just like bulgur, couscous is usually made from durum wheat. Mix salted water with durum wheat semolina and rub it until the typical 1mm small globules form. They then get dried and packaged. One can also make couscous from barley and millet. Because the couscous grains are so small, you can prepare them within a few minutes.
Preparation of couscous:
1- First, bring 250ml of water or vegetable broth to a boil.
2- If you use solely water, add half a tablespoon of salt.
3- Add 250g couscous and cover the pot.
4- After about 5 minutes, the couscous has completely absorbed the liquid.
5- Then loosen it with a fork and optionally refine it with a little olive oil.
6- Now you can serve the couscous as a side dish or use fresh ingredients to make a delicious couscous salad.
Pay attention to the ecological cultivation of couscous
The couscous in the supermarket usually comes from conventional wheat cultivation. As a rule, farmers use chemical pesticides. Traces of it may still be in the couscous. So that the couscous receives its bright color, the manufacturers usually bleach the couscous with caustic soda. This is unnecessary and damages the rivers and lakes along with their living animals.
We, therefore, recommend biological couscous from organic farming. You can find it, for example, in the organic market, as well as in many health food stores.
You can prepare a couscous salad in a variety of ways. I will show you three delicious recipes that you should definitely try. One of the recipes is also vegan. When making couscous salads, only the sky is the limit. Thus, let your own creativity run wild and enjoy as many different blends as you like.
Recipe: Couscous salad with raisins and apricots
Whether in summer or in the wintertime, this delicious couscous salad with raisins and dried apricots is suitable for every season.
For four people you need the following ingredients in organic quality:
1 bunch of spring onions,
3 large tomatoes or 8 cherry tomatoes,
Half a cucumber,
100 g of feta,
100g dried apricots
For the dressing you require:
1 heaped teaspoon of medium to hot mustard,
2 teaspoons organic tomato paste,
1 teaspoon agave syrup,
3 tbsp organic vegetable oil,
a small dash of vinegar (I use Apple Cider Vinegar),
3 tablespoons water
salt and pepper
Recipe (duration approximately 15 minutes):
1- First, cut the peppers and tomatoes into small pieces and fry both together for about 5 minutes in a pan.
2- During this time, you can cut and slice the remaining salad ingredients and place them in a large salad bowl.
3- Making couscous is easy: Cover the couscous in a ratio of 1: 1 with boiling water or vegetable broth and let it swell for about 5 minutes.
4- Then whisk the couscous with a fork and mix it with the rest of the salad.
5- Finally, put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, stir to a homogeneous mass and flavor to taste. With oil and water, you can change the consistency of the dressing until you are satisfied.
6- Then mix the dressing well under the couscous salad.
Vegan couscous salad recipe with chickpeas and curry – A delicious couscous salad
To prepare for this couscous salad, you must cook or soak the chickpeas. Alternatively, you can buy ready-to-eat chickpeas in a jar/can, which you can add directly to the salad.
Ingredients for four persons:
6 big tomatoes,
1 big zucchini,
some salt, curry powder and coriander for seasoning
Recipe (duration approx 20 minutes):
1- Pour the couscous with 250 ml of boiling water or vegetable stock and let it swell for five minutes.
2- Meanwhile, you can cut the zucchini into small pieces and roast in a pan for about five minutes.
3- Then put the zucchini, the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes in a salad bowl.
4- Now season the swollen couscous salad with salt, curry powder, as well as cilantro, and loosen it with a fork.
5- In the end, just add the couscous with the vegetables in the salad bowl.
Couscous salad with arugula and feta – Couscous is suitable for many different salads
Especially in summer, couscous with arugula salad and tomatoes is a tasty salad combination.
For four people you need the following ingredients:
150g grape or cherry tomatoes,
2 tbsp olive oil,
Sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds as desired,
Salt and pepper.
Recipe (duration approximately 10 minutes):
1- Pour the couscous over with about 250ml of boiling water or vegetable broth, and let it swell for about five minutes.
2- Wash the arugula at this time and make it smaller.
3- Then, cut the tomatoes and feta into small pieces.
4- After five minutes you can, again, whisk the couscous with a fork and add to the rest of the salad.
Finally, add some olive oil and the seeds.
Couscous is so healthy: Everything about nutritional values and calories
Couscous is a staple food in North Africa. But how healthy is couscous and what nutritional value does it have? I explain what exactly is included in couscous, and why it should also be more frequently on your menu.
What is couscous actually?
Couscous, unlike rice, for example, is not a grain of its own, but it is usually made from wheat.
For the preparation of couscous, you actually mix coarse durum wheat semolina with salted water and then you rub it until it forms about 1mm small globules. They give the couscous its typical structure. For trading purposes, they, furthermore, dry the granules.
The raw material for couscous, however, varies from country to country. While in the Western world we mainly prepare “instant couscous” from durum wheat semolina, one can also make couscous from barley or millet.
Carbohydrates and nutritional values of couscous
Couscous contains a lot of protein and is a low-fat food.
Couscous is a cereal product and, therefore, a calorie-rich satiety: Per 100g it contains a proud 353 calories. The good news is that couscous contains very little fat (just 1.8g per 100g), but lots of fiber; a total of 7.6g per 100g. The protein content is very high with 11g to 100g. Couscous contains about five times as much protein as potatoes.
Couscous is by no means a fattener if you do not serve it with high-fat sauces or high-calorie meat dishes. In addition, couscous contains a lot of healthy minerals such as potassium and B vitamins, especially vitamin B3.
Nutrition facts at a glance (per 100 g couscous):
Calories (kcal): 353
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 1.8 g
Carbohydrates: 69 g
Dietary fiber: 7.6 g
Which couscous to buy? – Couscous is mostly made from wheat.
Couscous from Israeli and Arabic shops, as well as from the supermarket, usually comes from conventional wheat cultivation. It may, therefore, be contaminated with chemical pesticides.
To achieve a light color, they normally bleach the couscous with caustic soda. Caustic soda is otherwise used to make pipe cleaners and soap, but in higher concentrations, it is particularly harmful to fish and plankton.
Thus, I recommend that you buy couscous in organic quality from controlled organic farming. You can get it in well-stocked organic supermarkets and health food stores. There you can also buy couscous from other cereals, such as spelled, barley or buckwheat. These are usually not bleached at all.
Background: Couscous – North Africa’s staple food
The potato of North Africa – that’s the name for couscous. Because what the potato is in the Western Hemisphere, is couscous in North Africa and Asia Minor. In other words – a staple food. How the couscous came into the world, describes the Algerian writer Hamid Skif:
“One day, there was a severe famine over the land where the Berbers lived. The angels in the sky watched people starve to death, and out of sheer compassion started to cry.
When their tears fell to the ground, they became small pellets of grain, and that’s how the couscous came into the world. ”
In a Muslim cookbook, couscous is mentioned for the first time in the 13th century. Jewish immigrants, who came to Europe from Arab nations, brought couscous for the first time over to “the old world.”
In France, couscous was known in particular by Algerian immigrants. From Europe, the first pilgrims introduced couscous to the lands of the North Americans. Ever since then, couscous is suitable as an affordable side dish or as a nutritious salad.
I hope you enjoyed not only reading about the three couscous salad recipes, but also the valuable facts I shared with you. I found the story regarding the genesis of couscous extremely touching, and it most certainly makes me appreciate all that I have in my daily life even more.
How about you, dear co-creators? Have you already tried couscous? If so, what were your experiences with it? Perhaps you would even like to share a recipe with us below? We would be happy and eager to try it out. Anyway, just let me know your thoughts, ideas and eventual suggestions for topics you’d like me to write about for you.
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