The other day Kara emailed me with the next date Giada will be in town. Monday, April 2nd in Oakbrook for all you Chicagoans. We’re like…her biggest fans and we’ve been dying to go to one of her book signings, but they’re always during the week. So many of my favorite recipes are thanks to Giada and this is another one of them.
I’ve been making this couscous for years. I seriously make it ALL the time! I don’t know why it hasn’t made it to the blog yet. This is one of my favorites recipes because it’s healthy and it’s a perfect lunch option for work. I like to make a whole batch then portion it out into several small containers. That way I can just grab one on my way out the door and have a healthy and filling lunch. No need to microwave it or anything, couldn’t be any easier!
There are a few parts of this recipe that we’ve changed from Giada’s original recipe. We cut the sugar in half and reduced the amount of olive oil too. As far as the dried fruit and nuts, just use your favorites! Every time I make this couscous I change up the recipe a little bit. I’ll mix up the fruit and the nuts depending on what I have on hand and what I’m in the mood for. However, I always use raw almonds because they’re so darn healthy.
I want to mention a couple things about this recipe that can make a fairly healthy recipe turn unhealthy really fast. First of all, use raw nuts. No honey roasted or salted or candy coated. Plain old raw nuts. They’re good, believe me. Second of all, do not buy dried fruit with added sugar. When you’re at the grocery store make sure you read the ingredients listed on the label carefully. It should be 100% fruit.
2 1/3 cups water
¼ cup sugar
1 cup dried fruit (we used a mix of apricots, raisins, pineapple and cranberries)
1 box (about 1 pound) couscous
1 cup raw nuts, roughly chopped (we used almonds and cashews)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar and dried fruit. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the couscous and remove the pan from the heat. Cover with a lid and let sit until the couscous has absorbed all of the cooking liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Use a fork to fluff the couscous to break up any lumps. Spread the mixture out on a baking dish and drizzle lightly with olive oil, 2 tablespoons or so. Add the nuts and toss together.
Leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge.
*Note: Make sure you choose dried fruit with no added sugar. Read the ingredients on the label carefully, there should be nothing listed other than the fruit.
Source: adapted from Giada de Laurentiis