Couscous, a North African dish of small steamed balls of semolina is considered to be a pasta. It’s also a grain my mom introduced to me back in the 90’s and one we eat as a side dish regularly. We grew up taught to always have a carb on our plate with our meal. This was either pasta, rice or potatoes. But is it really necessary? Not really, as long as you are eating enough of each food group throughout the day.
For dinners I love to cook a protein and have a great side, salad or grain to go with it. We always put fresh veggies of some sort of the table for the kids to munch on before and during our meals ensuring they get lots of veggies in them.
If the thought of meat on the couscous doesn’t appeal to you, try a couscous salad on the side. The first one I ever had was made by my mom and full of artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and more. We made a yogurt drizzle using a little Greek Yogurt mixed with a splash of water, juice of one lemon and a pinch of salt.
- 2 lbs sirloin or top sirloin steak
- 2 tbsp ras el hanout spice
- 1 tbsp coarse salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 2 cups fine couscous
- salt and pepper in pinch bowls
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 398ml can chick peas
- ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas
- At least an hour before (or more) you are ready to cook, rub steak with ras el hanout and salt on both sides. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Remove to counter at least 30 minutes before cooking steak.
- To cook steak heat grill pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and add steak. Get a good sear on one side then turn over cooking til desired doneness. Remove from pan, let rest on plate covered for 5 minutes. Thinly slice and set aside.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil, chicken stock and lemon juice to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil on stove and remove from heat. Stir in couscous, a pinch of lemon zest, pinch of salt and pepper, and let stand for five minutes Fluff with a fork, taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as needed.
- To serve, spread couscous out on a platter. Sprinkle on sliced scallions, chick peas, mint and parsley. Top with sliced steak. Add pepitas and leftover lemon zest.