When I was planning out my tentative blogging schedule for this year, I held a poll over on Twitter on whether or not to start posting recipes as well. The response was a positive one – some of my friends complain about me posting pictures on Instagram and making them hungry? I mean, isn’t that what good friends do? – so today we have the first of my recipes, adapted from various places to fit my family’s dietary needs!
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it online, but my family is quite strictly vegetarian. Not only do we not eat meat and fish, we don’t consume products containing eggs or garlic either. Going out to restaurants can be a pain so sometimes we just say we’re allergic because people are more careful then. Oops?
This was originally a baked quinoa recipe I took off of my cousin, but I prefer the texture of couscous. And it was much easier to get my hands on while we were staying in Auckland. It is simple to make, and chockful of flavour, and so versatile! I made it so often that my husband actually got sick of it.
I think if I make it now, he won’t be so mad because it’s been a while…
The recipe makes enough for two people, with a little bit leftover if you’re not big eaters. It can be made in a bigger tray, or individual ramekins, or whatever dish you can bake in. Toss in whichever veggies you have on hand with your cooked couscous and then bake with cheese on top and voila! You’ve got something ready to serve in just about 20 odd minutes.
- 1 cup couscous, prepared as directed (except use salted water)
- 1 carrot, or 6 baby carrots, sliced thinly
- 1/2 packet spinach, or greens as desired
- 1 sachet tomato paste, about 50g
- a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- 100g semi-dried tomatoes
- grated mozzarella, for topping
- Prepare the couscous as directed on the pouch. add salt and tomato paste to the boiled water.
- Slice carrots very thinly.
- Mix couscous, carrots, greens over a very low fire.
- [Add tomato paste (or use a premade marinara sauce) and mix thoroughly.]
- (Add the oil from the semi-dried tomatoes at this point for more flavour.)
- Place in oven-safe tray and top with semi-dried tomatoes and cheese.
- Bake for about ten minutes or until the cheese seems to have melted.
- Serve warm.
- Or eat it all yourself over the course of a few days, it tastes good after heating up too.
I’ve added in mushrooms, more tomatoes – I really like tomatoes – and even tofu before. Depending on your diet, you can probably add in meat, other veggies – anything you and your family enjoy, and anything to make the end product look inviting.
Don’t forget the cheese, though. The cheese ties the whole thing together. Almost literally, actually.
And tag me (@thebitterbeast) if you make it! I would love to see your takes on this dish!