Couscous is one of the biggest staples in my kitchen for quick dinners and packable lunches. It cooks quickly and, if you can boil water, you can make couscous. Yay!
Our favorite is pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous). It’s bigger in size than regular couscous and has a slightly chewier texture. It comes in a traditional, whole wheat or tri-colored form. My kids like the traditional and tri-colored kind best, but I’m a fan of the whole grain. I like to keep my kids on their toes a bit, so we try to rotate through using each of the three varieties.
Doesn’t the size kind of remind you of Dippin Dots? Hmmm, maybe that’s why my kids like pear couscous so much.
Pearl couscous is sometimes hard to find in traditional grocery stores, but Bob’s Red Mill offers all three (hint: you can buy a pack of 4 on Amazon). Trader Joe’s also always seems to carry the tri-colored kind and you should be able to find the traditional kind in the bulk section of Whole Foods.
Like all pastas, couscous is pretty affordable, especially when you buy it in bulk. If you’re anything like me, you’re still recovering from all those holiday expenditures, so budget-friendly meals are a really good thing right now. (For more budget-friendly recipe inspiration, be sure to check out the Recipe Redux link below!)
Sometimes when I make couscous, I keep it REALLY simple and just toss it with olive oil, black pepper and parmesan cheese. It’s a wonderfully simple side dish and goes great with grilled chicken and a tossed salad.
For more of a lunch entree, I like to brighten it up with some colorful veggies, garbanzo beans, olives, lime and mint, like in the recipe below. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite packable lunch time meals (minus the olives, which are easy enough for her to pick out). All in all, this recipe is close to $2.00 per serving.
For more budget-friendly recipe inspiration, be sure to check out this Recipe Redux link.