Summer Couscous, eating real food rant

To be honest, I’m a relatively recent convert to couscous.

Couscous is not a grain but a tiny semolina ‘pasta’. 

The first time I ate it, the couscous was dry and pretty tasteless.

When I started cooking more Moroccan-style food I decided to see what I could do to / with it to make it more to my taste.

I discovered, like rice and grains, it’s a blank slate that combines with anything and everything.

The best part is it’s ready in 10 minutes and doesn’t require cooking – at least, what I get. What is normally available is pre-cooked couscous to which we just add boiling water or stock

How easy is that?

Summer Couscous

Total time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped zucchini (courgette)
  • 2 tbs snipped chives
  • 5 – 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp salad olive oil

Summer Couscous


  • Heat chicken broth to a boil.
  • Put couscous, pepper and zucchini in a medium bowl.
  • When broth is boiling pour over couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes… Do not stir it.
  • Uncover, add chives, tomatoes and oil to couscous, fluff gently with a fork to combine and serve.

Print Recipe

Strong opinions follow – read at your own risk

The subject of diets has come up in my circle of conversations again….  family, friends and neighbors.

Most of my readers know my opinion on weight control and weight loss: sensible eating and exercise.

For weight control that should be all one needs.

For weight loss one must eat a little less and exercise a little more.

All much easier said than done, but, regardless, should / must be done.

As to all of the diet programs that are widely promoted everywhere…. I’m sure that most, if not all, work.

But most work because fewer calories are consumed.

So my thoughts are just watch the calories and eat what you want. (That way you get to eat chocolate.)

And then there are all the helpful foods available: light, reduced-fat, low-fat, non-fat, sugar-free, nutrient-free….

I’m only guessing about that last one…..

I’ve worked all of my adult life to keep my weight under control – some years more successfully than others.

I think it’s easier here, in France, than it would be in the US…. Portions are smaller, food is healthier and attitudes are different.

But when we first moved here I thought it would be harder. All the food was just, well, regular food.

There wasn’t non-fat mayonnaise and sugar-free ketchup and low-fat cheese.

And there weren’t any gyms!!!!

I was going to have to manage my weight the hard way… on my own!

Something I’ve discovered along the way, that works for me,(and I’m sure goes against everything that most people think, if reading Cooking Light is an example) is eating regular, real food works best.

I eat regular yogurt and regular cheese… even cream cheese.

I compromise with milk and use ‘demi’ or half rather than whole but only because I like it better Skim is not an option – not available..

I make my own salad dressing so if it’s reduced-fat it’s only because I use less olive oil.

I use sugar and honey when a recipe calls for it… I don’t use substitutes.

I just don’t eat a lot it.

The only exception to all this is Coke…. I’ve been drinking Coca Light for so long I couldn’t possibly drink the real stuff…. But I only have one or two a week.

In my opinion (totally un-researched) eating foods with all the fat and sugar removed (besides all the unpronounceable ingredients used to replace them) doesn’t satisfy one’s appetite.

If I eat the real stuff my body knows I’ve eaten something and I’ve gotten the benefits of eating something.

So…. My question is this:

If you eat non-fat cheese and sugar-free, fat-free yogurt for lunch are you fooling your body into thinking you ate a proper meal?

Or are you fooling your mind into thinking that you can eat lots more because the foods were ‘free’?.

Oh wait…. they weren’t free of calories were they?

They were? No wonder you’re hungry all the time.

Just so you know…. losing weight is easier if you’re not hungry all the time.

Eat real food – it’s good for your.

(I shall now get off my (very) high horse)

If you want nutrition information, try this site: Calorie Count

5 thoughts on “Summer Couscous, eating real food rant”

  1. I just consumed a pastry while reading a knitting blog post and this with my don’t-ask-which-number cup of morning coffee. It’s a daily indulgence I decided is genetic after learning about the Germans’ “zweites Frühstück” and I eat “real” food, mostly made from scratch. I have always eaten this way, as has my family. And the only one with the weight problem is the niece who eats anything-free because she believes the hype. Should I lose a few pounds? Probably, and I likely will now that I’m walking my kid to the school bus again, upping the exercise.

    In other words, I’m with you.

  2. Kate, mine too – I try to leave it in the shops….

    Karen, when we lived in Ireland we learned about ‘second breakfast’. They do it in Spain and Andorra, too. I’m rather fond of that. One must indulge!

    Dan, merci.

    Tanna, at least with real food I know what it is that may be bad LOL

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