20-Minute Meal: Vegetable Couscous

When you’re a busy university student who sometimes struggles to juggle assignments, presentations, labs, tutorials, and, okay, laundry, quick and easy recipes are lifesavers. I’ve posted lots of simple and easy recipes for main meals like tomato scrambled eggs and 5-minute tuna salad, and even quick side dishes like maple-roasted squash (so freaking good) and 3-ingredient baked salmonWhat are your Top 3 fast, easy, and simple go-to recipes?

+1 bonus points to any recipe that doesn’t require dirtying a whole sinkful of dishes.

+2 bonus points for recipes that use simple (read: CHEAP) ingredients that satisfy my itty-bitty student budget.

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This recipe is just that, with three bonus points. Throw some toasted store-bought falafels on a flavourful vegetable couscous “stir-fry” and you’re good to go. This makes a lovely lunch or dinner, but I can totally envision a drippy egg on top, some flatbread, and you’ve got breakfast. That would be similar to the Moroccan stew I savoured at Red House a couple weeks ago, for brunch with my friends.

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As you can see from the four different “sets” of photos (different plates and arrangements and sides), yes, I did enjoy this meal four different times in two weeks. Did you know that falafels are freezable? I bought a pack from Vincenzo’s grocery store in Kitchener and froze them in packs of three. Since these photos were taken a while ago, I actually finished the whole pack and purchased ANOTHER box two days ago!

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These falafels were insanely good – in terms of flavour and texture, I liked them better than the most famous falafels in Paris, France. The texture of the Parisian ones, though, were crispy and heartier than these guys. I promise I’ll stop raving about these now! Oh, and there’s goat cheese on top. Tzatziki would’ve been a delicious addition but I didn’t have any 😦

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Another time, I roasted a big batch of sweet potatoes to use as a topper. These turned out gloriously crispy and slightly charred because I was folding laundry. I knew laundry was evil.

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Anyways, you’ll need:

  • Couscous, quinoa, rice, millet, whatever grain you have in the pantry. I don’t know if I’d recommend oats, though 😉
  • As many veggies as you’d like – I used shredded carrots, frozen peas, roasted red pepper, spinach, and green onions
  • Squash would be fantastic in here, as would eggplant, beets, and cucumber (keep ’em cold, though).
  • Falafels, of course! Or skip them for a light side dish.
  • Cheese if you’d like
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Tzatziki? Hummus? Go crazy with flavour!
  • Chopped herbs would be fantastic. Wish I had some! All I had still have in my fridge is month-old sage from making a sage-squash pasta bake… back in October. Whew, that was a long time ago. To be honest it’s probably brown and spotty now. I’m scared to look at it.

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Yummy and so portable – the lunch that’ll make you the envy of the cafeteria/lounge/wherever you nom on your lunch. I usually have mine in the Health Sciences lounge, where there are couches, tables, and microwaves, or the Mathematics building coffee shop where there are lots of chairs and sunlight. Hey, I’m curious. Where do you typically eat lunch?

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Lots of studying to do because it’s both finals season and the most wonderful time of the year. 5 finals and one presentation to go before I’m back home. Can’t wait. See you in my next post 🙂