Za’atar Couscous Bowls with Chickpeas and Veggies
Pearl couscous has the most amazing texture. It's wholesome, absorbs a whole lot of flavor and I love that I can use it in so many different ways! You should definitely be able to find some at your local grocery store.
Oh, and it's sooo easy and quick to make!
You can't go wrong with Za'Atar
so get your hands on some. This Mediterranean herb & spice blend pairs incredibly well with a variety of ingredients one uses on a regular basis and it adds a great twist to otherwise mundane foods.*
I don't plan on what and how when I cook (though I am very much a planner/list maker in general). This was something that I just pulled out of my hat given the ingredients I had at home and it's something most people have. It's simple, of course, it's quick and it's so so delicious!
First things first..in case you didn't already know:
How to make simple couscous:
Bring 1.5 cups of water and 1 tsp sea salt to a boil. Add in 1 cup of your pearl couscous. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the water is fully absorbed and taste test to see that the texture of your couscous is soft. If it's just about done you can turn the heat off, cover and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Add in about a Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil, Fluff with a fork and its done! This makes over 2 cups and is enough for this recipe.
Now that the hard part is over.. let's get to the easy part! lol
- Cooked couscous as shown above
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 medium Zucchini
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- 10-12 spears asparagus
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 Can chickpeas ( garbanzo beans)
- 5-6 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp Za'Atar
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper ( or more! we use a lot more lol)
- Sea salt or Celtic salt (to taste)
- Add cherry tomatoes and cilantro to the couscous when it has cooled down. Add to a big serving bowl.
- In a large pan, heat about 2 tbsp olive oil and add onions, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes and cook on medium for about 3 minutes.
- Now add in the asparagus, garlic, Za'atar, salt and pepper ( and at this point, you also can add any other veggies you like, finely diced carrots, spinach, bell peppers of all colors, finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower too! -- get creative) and cook for another 2 .minuts.. I like to cover it so the veggies cool well.
- Add in the chickpeas and cover + cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste test to check flavor and add in more salt, pepper or za'atar if needed. Also, check if all the veggies are cooked to your liking.
- Remove from heat and let the veggie mixture cool down for about 5-10 minutes before adding it to your serving bowl with the couscous. Mix well and add some more cilantro, lemon rind and/or lemon juice if you like that.
Tada! Serve in pretty bowls to your loved ones!
- Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to try and use it as a stuffing for stuffed bell peppers 😍
- Add this to a bed of Greens to make a healthier/salad version of this recipe
- Enjoy it with a side of hummus
- Add smoked paprika for delicious depth of flavor!
* Za'Atar especially pairs well with:
- Rice preparations
- Bread (mmm Za'Atar on sprinkled on some toasted whole grain bread with some olive oil is magic!)
- Sprinkled in salads or added to salad dressings
- Sprinkle on your Hummus
- and of course with Couscous!