Sometimes when I’m cooking – or more often, when I’m planning what I’m going to cook – its easy to get caught up and make things overly complicated. Too many ingredients, too much fuss, when all I really want is something simple, filling and tasty to eat after work. Sometimes I want to cook something fancy as therapy and others I just want a full belly.
Monday was one of those nights, I’d made plans for what I was going to make and thanks to a lack of one vital ingredient they were scuppered and I needed to make something else. I got caught in a loop for ages, looking for and rejecting potential recipes based on different things I had in the cupboard and fridge. Round and round I went, back and forward, making no progress as time ticked away and I got steadily hungrier. Eventually I went raiding my cupboards for something quick and easy and came across a packet of couscous. Couscous is pretty much the definition of quick and easy, but what to have with it? I raided my cookbooks for inspiration and came away with assorted ideas. Feta is a popular choice and I had some in the fridge. I’d been half-heartedly preparing some spinach for the abandoned recipe so I had a small pile of that on hand. A quick dig in the salad box unearthed some spring onions and a small pepper.
I measured out the couscous and stuck it in a pot with some vegetable stock, leaving it to do its thing while I gently softened the spring onions and pepper in a little olive oil. When they were nice and soft I chucked in the spinach with a little more oil and wilted that down. Once the couscous had drunk up the stock, I crumbled in some feta into it and stuck some heat under it. I gave it a few minutes – stirring regularly – then added in the veggies and a wee twirl of lime juice. And tada. 200g of couscous, half a pack of feta (it goes lovely and melty in the couscous) and some oddments from the fridge made a filling dinner one night and the leftovers made a tasty lunch another twice. So easy and effortless.
(Though if I make it again, more spinach and a full sized pepper would be preferable. And I’d add the lime juice at the soaking stage. But otherwise…)