When Dean and I visited our daughters in Melbourne for Christmas, I was blown away by the couscous salad my daughter made. It was delicious. But this isn’t her recipe.
I had never made couscous ‘anything’ before and was looking for a different way of enjoying some sweet potato and leafy greens. Inspired by the dish my daughter made, I just started adding a few ingredients and hoped for the best. I’m pleased to say, Dean really enjoyed what I put on the table, so much so, making couscous ‘something’ has become a regular go-to meal.
In the past three months, we’ve enjoyed couscous as a main meal – with lots of vegetables as well as some protein added – and we’ve also enjoyed a simple (cold) couscous salad.
Here’s how we enjoyed it last night as a side dish.
Sweet Potato & Spinach Couscous
½ cup of couscous
2 medium-sized golden sweet potatoes
½ medium-sized red onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons almond slivers
2 large handfuls of baby spinach roughly chopped
salt and pepper
¼ cup of olive oil
splash of chilli oil
step 1: Peel and dice the sweet potato and place into a large bowl. Pour over the olive oil, and sprinkle with the sweet paprika, garlic powder, salt and paper. Toss to ensure all the potato pieces are covered. Place on a baking tray and bake in a moderate oven until well done. This should take approx 45 – 60 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. When cooked, drain on a piece of absorbent paper towel if necessary, but don’t allow the potato to cool.
While the potato is cooking, prepare everything else. I usually start at step 2 when the potato is almost done.
step 2: Prepare the couscous as per the packet instructions. Leave the couscous in the saucepan and set aside.
step 3: Toast the almonds in the splash of chilli oil and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Don’t allow them to burn.
step 4: Add the almonds and the onions to the saucepan containing the couscous and stir well to combine. (I find this also helps to really break the couscous apart.)
step 5: Tip the couscous mixture into a large bowl and add the spinach and stir through.
step 6: Finally add the (hot) sweet potato and again stir through. The heat of the potato will wilt the spinach a little, but only slightly. Serve immediately.
- As a side dish, this makes enough for four people to enjoy.
- I often add some crumbled feta – it gives the dish a little ‘zing’.
- Try adding some diced chicken and extra veggies enjoy as a main.
- You don’t have to add the slivered almonds. I often use toasted sunflower seeds.
- Try adding any mixture of vegetables you like – tomatoes, cucumber, celery, green beans, chickpeas.
- Use pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes.
- I buy the cheapest couscous 🙂
- Instructions for preparing couscous can vary, but I find equal proportions of couscous to liquid works a treat – ½ cup couscous to ½ cup water.
- Instead of water, try using chicken or vegetable stock to add extra flavour.