My favourite recipes for the mo'

Well, apart from chocolate, the other things that I miss most are white basmati rice and pasta - of any kind! I have been searching high and low for alternatives and, although I already used to eat a lot of polenta and couscous, I needed to find a way to zhuzh (is that how it's spelled?) them up.

I now tend to make one big bowl of the MOROCCAN COUSCOUS SALAD on a Sunday and have one pot-spoon everyday for lunch.


Serves: 4


1 cup quick cooking couscous

1/4 cup raisins

1 1/4 cup boiling chicken or vegetable stock


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt


1 carrot, grated

1/2 red capsicum, finely diced

1/4 red onion, finely diced

1 cup tinned chick peas, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

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Preparation:20min › Cook:5min › Ready in:25min

Mix the couscous with the raisins in a bowl then pour over the boiling stock. Cover with a tea towel, plate or cling wrap to seal in the steam then let sit for 5 minutes.

Place the oil, lemon juice, garlic, spices and salt in a jar with a lid or a martini shaker then shake to mix.

Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains then stir in the carrot, capsicum, onion, chick peas and parsley. Pour over the dressing then toss together until well combined. (source

My next best recipe is called POLENTA CHIPS and for this I use the ready made polenta. Cut into chunky chips sizes and baste with some olive oil. Place in the oven at gas mark 6 and take out when golden brown (30-40 mins later)



4 Replies

  • Sounds good!

  • This is totally up my street! This week I made a big bowl of buckwheat with chopped sundried tomatoes, gherkins, parsley, red onion and lots of black pepper, not too dissimilar to your couscous. I've used this as a basis for my packed lunches, accompanied by fresh salad, hummous and beetroot. Earlier in the week I had some roast butternut squash to add to it but I've run out now :( Baked sweet potato makes a great lunch too, just bake the same way as a baked potato. Also look out for spelt pasta, make stews with mashed potato topping (mix parsnip in with the potato) and vegetable crumble is ace too, using a savoury oat topping. Happy cooking :)

  • ooh, you've given me an inspiration with the tangy gherkins and sundried tomatoes! Thanks for that, Ruth!

  • Hi Nat.

    White basmati isn't too bad for you (in moderate amounts, of course!). It's fairly low GI, so shouldn't spike your blood sugar and make you too hungry afterwards.

    I've been trying the brown basmati that they sell in Asda. It tastes good, and doesn't take too much longer to cook. I wash it and put it in my cheapo rice cooker with 2x the volume of water (and a couple of smashed garlic cloves - I love garlic!) and wait for the beep to tell me it's done.

    I used to eat double (or triple...) portions of rice, but seem to have it under better control now. "No more dinners for four unless there are three other people present...", as the saying goes. I think that switching to brown has helped a lot.

    Good luck!

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