Meatless Monday: Couscous with spicy spinach

Being a graduate student with limited money and dietary restrictions means that I usually try to cook food at home instead of eating out.  Since I often work late and don’t have the time or energy to make and pack lunch every day, I have been on the hunt for recipes that can be made in large batches and eaten for lunch over the whole week.  A couple of years ago, I found myself with an excess of couscous and a need to eat leafy greens to increase my iron intake.  And so, this dish was born.

Coucous with spicy spinach

Couscous with spicy spinach

This recipe also works well for picnics and roadtrips because it’s easy to make and not too messy to eat.  Though I haven’t made this particular recipe on a camping trip, I have made couscous in a campfire and it is delicious, so I imagine this would make a great campfire meal if you have access to some fresh ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups Israeli pearl couscous

~8 oz. fresh spinach

1 large tomato

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsps oil

Crushed red pepper

Salt

Lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add oil to a pot and turn on the stove to low heat.  Allow the oil to heat up.

2. Crush the garlic (or cut into small pieces) and add to the oil.  Allow garlic to brown slightly, stirring to prevent burning.

3. Add the spinach into the oil and stir.  Allow the spinach to cook, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.  After spinach is mostly cooked, add crushed red pepper (amount depends on how spicy you want the dish to be, but a teaspoon or so is usually plenty).

4. Add the couscous into the pot and stir it into the spinach and oil.  Let the couscous toast for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add ~5 cups of boiling water to the pot and allow the couscous to cook for 10 minutes or until al dente.  Add salt to taste.

6. Serve with pieces of fresh tomato and some lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemon.

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