Mixed veggies atop couscous.

I heard quickly from some of you that the bacon or some of the other items in my Mediterranean-styled Green Beans aren’t on your diets, but at least some of you have already shared ways to make substitutions or eliminate any items that won’t work for your individual health plan. Great! That is exactly the right thing to do.

But because I know many of you are veggie-lovers comme-moi, here is an easy dish I made today. My sweet hubby had to have two teeth extracted on an emergency basis yesterday, so I am pampering him with soft foods and dishes just to keep him happy. What that means, is that I can prepare dishes for myself about which he might not otherwise be overly enthusiastic.

Moroccan couscous, an easy and quick side dish.

Russ does love this Moroccan couscous, and I can occasionally sauté some chopped veggies into it or turn it into a salad side, but this combo was designed for me.

The couscous can be purchased at most grocery stores. I always have some on hand. The veggies I stocked up on during my last (and now infrequent during shelter-in-place restrictions) grocery run. You can use any, or all, of my suggestions, and don’t hesitate to embellish with your own spices.

I have occasionally made this dish with rice, topped with steamed veggies with a splash of Bragg Liquid Aminos (instead of straight-up soy sauce), and then blanketed with some (any) grated cheese. My sister Debbie shared that recipe with me many years ago, and it’s still comfort food for the soul. S so easy to make, and versatile for selection of available ingredients, that even non-cooks can be successful.

Sauteed mixed veggies.

I didn’t want cheese today for the flavor profile I had envisioned.


Moroccan couscous

Couple teaspoons of olive (or other) oil

Handful of carrots

One celery rib sliced about ½” thick

¼ cup of canned garbanzo beans

Full scallion with the green

Handful of fresh spinach

broccoli flowers

Couple asparagus spears, cut into 2” long pieces

Small handful of cashews and peanuts

2 tsp of the Liquid Aminos

Dashes each of Chinese Five Spices and ginger Szechuan seasoning

You will need a small saucepot and one 10 or 12” fry pan with lid

  1. Cook the Moroccan couscous per directions. I added a dollop of a good-quality chicken bouillon to the water, but that is optional. I always add the teaspoon of butter to the couscous, which is optional in the directions, but which adds a subtle richness to the couscous and makes it easier to break up any small clumps .
  2. Mise en place (pre-cut all your veggies so you can easily grab when needed)
  3. Put the oil in the fry pan on medium-high. When just about to sizzle, lower the heat to medium and add the harder veggies that need to cook longer, like the carrots, celery and garbanzo beans). Cover and cook just a few minutes.
  4. Add in the broccoli, asparagus, nuts, Liquid Aminos, and seasonings. Cover.
  5. Cook just another few minutes. The steam will cook the veggies without having to add any other liquid. I wanted them al dente so the cooking doesn’t take long.
  6. Throw in the spinach and scallions. Cook just long enough for the spinach to wilt.
  7. Smell, taste, and add anything else you think it needs.
  8. Pour some of the veggies atop your couscous (or if you’re one of those who like things not touching, plate then), and just enjoy.

Do let me know your thoughts and variations.


Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2019 – 2020 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.KarenKuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady. Food photos for this series by Karen Kuzsel.