Mediterranean Couscous: Whole grain pearl couscous is combined with roasted grape tomatoes, spinach, white beans, and fresh lemon juice for a Mediterranean style dish that is perfect for a light lunch, a meatless meal, or a side dish.
Now that school is back in full swing, I am left to eat lunch alone. I miss my kids, but I am NOT complaining.
However, after I pack up leftovers for my husband and kids’ lunches, I am often left with very little options for myself.
This forces me to make something at the start of the week that I can eat on all week long. Which in turn, sparks my creativity and allows me to explore dishes that may not be my family’s favorite.
One of my all time favorite simple dishes my Mom would make was spaghetti tossed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and Parmesan. But my son does not like chunks of fresh tomatoes in his pasta–so I rarely make it for dinner.
This past week, I was REALLY craving it. It had the sweet yellow and red grape tomatoes that I scored from the Farmer’s market that put the dish into my mind.
So I decided to change it up a bit and make it for my lunches for the week. And I am so glad I did–it was total comfort for me and I loved every bite!
I added white beans for protein and fiber, fresh spinach, and used whole grain couscous instead of spaghetti–the couscous cooked in less than 20 minutes, so I was all about using couscous verses waiting for water to boil for spaghetti–I was a hungry girl!
This dish is fresh and filling and simply perfection in my opinion! It really does make the perfect lunch. But would also be a huge hit for a potluck as well, as you can serve it warm or cold.
- 1 box about 6 ounces whole grain couscous
- 2 cups water
- 1 pint grape tomatoes --I used a variety of red and yellow
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus additional for serving
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- juice of 1 lemon
- additional salt and pepper for taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss tomatoes in 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt. When oven is ready, roast tomatoes for 10-15 minutes, until blistered open.
In the meantime, bring water and couscous to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer according to package directions--usually 10-15 minutes.
Once couscous is cooked, add in remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes, Parmesan, spinach, lemon juice, and roasted tomatoes. Toss until well combined and spinach wilts.
Taste to see if any additional salt is needed (Parmesan is salty and tomatoes were salted as well.)
Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Believe it or not, my husband grabbed some from the fridge one night and asked if he could take it to work as well for his lunch–it really is a winning dish!