Last Thursday evening, I had a headache, was tired from a week of sick kids and just didn’t feel like cooking. About the time I should have been cooking, I rang my hubby to see if he was on his way home (with the hope that maybe he’d left the office on time and could get takeaway!). Alas no, he was still at his desk.
I told him it was baked beans on toast for dinner. Problem-solving engineer that he is, he offered some suggestions for a healthier dinner, including him cooking when he got home. Unfortunately, tired, sick and hungry kids were not something I could cope with and dinner would be too late if we waited for him to get home. As I hung up the phone, baked beans was still my plan, but I started to feel a little guilty.
Staring at my overflowing pantry drawer (don’t get me started on things I don’t like about my kitchen!) for inspiration, I spied some couscous. One of the easiest and fastest things to cook in the world – just add boiling water!
Now my mind was ticking over, and I grabbed some random ingredients from the fridge and pantry. Ten minutes later, the Super-Quick Couscous Salad was on the table for a healthy, colourful dinner:
And hubby was happy to come home to a decent meal, and not just beans on toast!
2 cups couscous
2 cups water or stock
1 capsicum, diced
1/4 continental cucumber, diced
Handful pine nuts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Bring water or stock to boil. (I boiled water in the kettle, poured into a bowl and then added a tablespoon of stock paste.)
2. Add couscous to the boiling water/stock, give a quick stir and then cover. Leave for at least 5 minutes.
3. Heat a small frypan over medium heat, and dry roast the pine nuts until golden. Stirring or shaking the pan to make sure they don’t burn.
4. Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil into a small jar/container and shake to combine.
5. Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the lumps. Pour the balsamic vinegar/oil mixture over the couscous and stir.
6. Add all other ingredients and toss.
And there you have an almost instant, healthy meal for 4.
What are your favourite recipes for when you have no energy to cook?