So first of all HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEKEND to everyone south of the border in the States! Us, Canadians, already had our Thanksgiving in October so it’s your turn! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Holiday!
So today’s recipe I intended as a side but it seems it can also be a meal on it’s own (at least according to my husband). I needed to make something that that easy to make and can add as a side to any meal just so there is variety and not just one type of food every day for my family to eat. A salad maybe? But salads don’t last very long. What’s filling? My husband loves beans but he needs more than JUST beans. I realized that I also had some couscous in my pantry and I had been itching to make something with. So I came up with 6 Bean Couscous Salad!
I figured this would be great because it incorporated a couple of the favourites of my husband like the beans. Since we’re trying to take a break from eating rice, the couscous is a nice alternative with the added bonus of it cooking A LOT faster than rice! Also one cup of couscous along with the rest of the ingredients makes a decent size big bowl of this salad and it’s enough to last for a number of days (that is if my husband doesn’t eat it all already). This whole dish was actually cooked in a short amount of time, which is always one of the things I try to do. I added in simple ingredients that I already had on hand: mushrooms, spinash, scallions, garlic and lime juice. That’s pretty much it other than salt and pepper. It’s a light salad with the main flavour being the garlic and lime juice and I think that’s why my husband loves it so much. It’s a refreshing take, he says. Intrigued yet?
I was very happy when my husband first tried it. He loved it so much that he now always asking me to make more of it. He loves bringing some for his work lunches because he can have it as a snack for his in-between meals or have it as a side with his mail lunch meal! So this means that this is GREAT for MEAL PREPS too!! Since it’s super easy to make, I don’t mind obliging at all in making more. He also loves it because it’s healthy and low fat. The beans very much help lower cholesterol and fats because of it’s high fiber so it’s a bonus all around!
So you are welcome to add whatever else you want to this recipe. You don’t have to use the mushrooms and spinach. Next time I actually would like to add some cherry tomatoes and onions and maybe even some cucumber for added freshness. This is why couscous is such a great base for these kinds of salads. You can whatever veggies and seasoning you like to make it however you want it to be!
6 Bean Couscous Salad
Six Bean Couscous Salad
- •1 cup couscous
- •1 TBSPN olive oil
- •3 cloves garlic , minced finely
- •1 can sliced mushrooms
- •1/5 cups of spinach (or more if you like)
- •1 Can of 6 bean medley (or your choice of beans) – drained and rinsed
- •chopped scallions (up to you how much you like)
- •2 TBSPN lime juice (more or less to taste)
- •salt & pepper to taste
- In a small pot, pour in your 1 TBSPN of olive oil and let it heat up a bit. Pour in your cup of couscous and let it sautee a bit in there.
- Add in about 1.5 cups of water and let it boil. When it’s bubbling, add in your 1 cup of couscous and stir constantly until water is absorbed and couscous is tender with the heat turned down to just below medium heat. Transfer the couscous into a bowl and let it sit or chill to cool it down.
- Heat up a frying pan with the remaining 1 TBSPN of olive oil and let it heat up. Drop in the minced garlic and sautee so the flavour sets in.
- You can now fry up the mushrooms and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes.
- Throw in the spinach and let it cook as well until it’s tender.
- *This part is optional – I say optional because some people might prefer having the beans added after all the cooking instead.* Add in the beans into the pan and only keep it in there for a couple of minutes just so it soaks up some of the flavours. You don’t want to keep it in there for too long because you wouldn’t want the beans get mushy.
- Remove contents of the pan and mix them in with the cooled down couscous bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add in the lime juice and mix until it’s all incorporated.
You can store this in the fridge for a good number of days as long as it’s in a sealed container. Not exactly sure how many portions this makes but it give a rough idea, my husband brings a small container every day to work for about a week.