If you go to the store right now, chances are you won’t find a lot of staples.No spaghetti. No white bread. No name-brand cereal.After experiencing the lack of what you need, you’ll turn to replacements. Maybe you grab that weird, green spinach spaghetti instead of the normal kind. You might reach for an overpriced loaf of gluten-free bread. You’ll find yourself taking the risk of buying an off-brand cereal.That’s what I’ve been tasked with doing in this new world that we live in. Most versions of pasta are out of stock right now, but not all. You can’t find a decent 5 lb. bag of rice in the store, but you can find Arborio rice. I’m here to help you feel around these ingredients that might seem foreign to you. Today, we’ll start with couscous.When was the last time you bought couscous? I’d be willing to bet it’s been years. The Moroccan pasta was wildly popular in the 90’s and early aughts but then fell out of favor as carbs became more and more demonized.So what is couscous? Is it a grain, is it pasta?It’s little pellets of semolina. Semolina is typically used to make pasta, so we’ll call it a pasta. It absorbs and expands with liquid and takes on flavors very well.You’ve seen the little boxes of it in different flavors at the grocery store. They also sell plain couscous in two sizes: the normal couscous, which is smaller than a BB, and the Israeli couscous, which is about double the size.Both version can be used interchangeably. I currently have a big stock of both in my pantry, and have been using them up over the last several weeks to forego having to go to the store. Enter this recipe, which is basically a fridge, pantry and herb-garden cleanout meal.Enjoy!
Parmesan Chicken Couscous
Cheesy, basil-rich couscous with chicken for a complete meal in a bowl.
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup water
- 2 TBS. butter or olive oil
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- salt & pepper
- Heat water in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Once boiling, add butter/olive oil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, and cover. Let couscous sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in almonds, spinach, chicken, cheeses, basil, salt and pepper. Spinach will wilt with the heat coming from the couscous. If mixture is too thick, add water, 1/4 cup at a time. You can also drizzle in more olive oil to loosen it up.
- Serve topped with more almonds & basil.