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College Guide

Dorm gourmet

Recipes for college cooks who are more Top Chef than Top Ramen

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2008:12:12 11:36:24

(recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson’s **Super Natural Cooking**)


Couscous with chickpeas, cranberries and feta

Couscous is actually pasta – tiny, fast-cooking grains of it. The usual method is to pour boiling water over the dry couscous, cover it and let it steam until all the water is absorbed, but we’ve adapted that technique for the microwave. The sky’s the limit – couscous adapts to any flavor you throw at it, but rather than the rich, meaty version you might find at a Moroccan restaurant, try looking at it as a vehicle for vegetables.

Makes four servings

Equipment: mesh strainer, microwave-safe plate, 9-inch glass dish, mixing bowl

1/2 cup canned chickpeas

3/4 cup couscous (plain or whole-wheat)

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dried cranberries

four green onions, sliced (green part only)

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1/4 cup crumbled feta

1 tablespoon olive oil

Empty the chickpeas into the strainer, rinse, and let them drain.

Combine couscous, water and salt in the glass dish, cover it with the plate, and microwave for two minutes. Check the couscous – if it’s still crunchy, give it another 30 seconds, then remove the dish and let it sit off to the side (with plate still covering it) while you prepare the other ingredients.

While the couscous is resting, combine the chickpeas, onions, cranberries, walnuts and feta in the mixing bowl and pour the olive oil over. Dump the steamed couscous over that and combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Southwestern variation: Cook the couscous as above, but instead add 1/2 cup thawed frozen corn, 1/2 can drained canned black beans, 1/4 cup diced red onion, and cumin-lime vinaigrette: whisk together 2 tablespoons oil with the juice of one lime and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin. Pour dressing over combined couscous and vegetables and stir.

Other things to add to couscous:


artichoke hearts

diced cucumber

dried apricots

dried cranberries

chopped red onion

diced or sliced hard-boiled egg

grape or cherry tomatoes


diced red pepper

hearts of palm

thawed frozen mango chunks

mozzarella chunks


pomegranate seeds

steamed carrots

shredded chicken





More about microwaves

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