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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

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

These recipes were tested in a 950-watt oven. To find out what wattage your oven is, check the label inside. (It may be in kilowatts – mine says “0.95 KW.”) Lower wattage means lower power and requires a longer cooking time; higher power means less time in the oven. Experiment in 30-second intervals until you figure out what works. And remember: Things keep cooking after they come out of the oven, so err on the side of slightly underdone.

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