Have you ever tried Israeli Couscous before? If you haven't, that's okay. It's not something you regularly see on a restaurant's menu or a recipe. When I was first introduced to couscous (about 6 - 7 years ago) I didn't know how to include it in my meals or what to pair it with since I was not familiar with it. Was it a grain? A pasta? Regardless, I began having couscous more often since then because I really enjoy its texture! It also cooks quickly which is a bonus for anyone wanting to prep a fast meal.
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, is more like a type of pasta than a grain. It's made from semolina wheat and water. One of the nutritional benefits of couscous is that it's a good source of selenium, a trace mineral that plays a role in supporting normal thyroid function. About 1 cup of couscous provides roughly 62% of your daily value*.
You can find selenium in many foods, such as seafood, eggs, grains and bread (and of course, couscous!). Couscous does lack some of the nutrients that other type of whole grains have, such as brown rice. It's important that couscous does not take primary place of whole grains in your diet to ensure you're getting adequate nutrition. You can find couscous at your local grocery store in the rice isle. Or you can go to Trader Joe's like me and get their purple, cute appealing box!
I encourage you to give couscous a try. Be creative and add your own twist of flavors to it. I know you'll enjoy it!
* Daily Value (DV) = a guide telling you how high or low this nutrient is in a particular food. This is listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
Reference: National Institute of Health
Cumin Black Beans with Couscous
Total Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Meal Type: Lunch or Dinner
- 1 - 8oz box Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous (or about 1.5 cups)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp canola oil (or vegetable)
- 1 bay leaf
For Black Beans
- 2 tsp canola oil (or vegetable)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 - 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- In a medium pot, heat oil over medium-low heat and stir in couscous. Keep stirring until couscous is slightly browned.
- Add water and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 - 15 minutes.
For Black Beans
- In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook and stir for about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add black beans, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until beans are heated.
- Turn off heat and stir chopped cilantro.
- Serve cumin black beans over cooked couscous.