You know what food I really love?
It’s so yummy and easy to prepare that I have found myself eating it a LOT lately.
It also provides a slight cleanse from the semi-indulgent Super Bowl Nachos I recently shared on SeasonalCookbook.com – not in real life, mind you. I can’t share those nachos in real life because they are soooo good!
Today’s black bean and couscous salad recipe is great because it only contains five ingredients, you can prepare it in under 8 minutes, and it is super-healthy!
This dish actually inspired a whole new category on SeasonalCookbook.com- Healthy 8 Minute Meals with Fewer Than 8 Ingredients.
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What Exactly is Couscous?
Couscous is a type of pasta, believe it or not. Even though it looks like tiny, hard, round balls prior to cooking.
Are there Different Types of Couscous?
Yes, there are three main types of couscous:
1 – Moroccan (the smallest and fastest cooking) This is the type I am using in today’s recipe.
2 – Israeli (also called Pearl Couscous) which is slightly larger and rounder. This type seems to be all the rage right now among the more popular food bloggers. Check out this awesome Israeli Couscous Salad from Nagi at RecipeTinEats.com – her site is incredible, by the way!
3 – Lebanese. This is the largest of the three different type of couscous and its size also means that this type takes the longest to cook.
Is Couscous Gluten Free?
Couscous is traditionally made from semolina, which is a wheat-based pasta and, therefore it is NOT gluten-free.
If you would like to know even more about couscous, check out this link for everything you would ever want to know about couscous.
Let’s finally get started on talking about how to make our Black Bean and Couscous Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Cilantro.
What You Need
1 Box of Moroccan Couscous – this is the one I used for this recipe
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Can Black Beans (in water)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Bag of Cilantro (or freshly picked if you love herbs as much as I do!)
What You Do
To make this healthy couscous salad in under 8 minutes, we will do a few things simultaneously as we prepare this dish.
Start by boiling water in a large pot like this one – The amount of water will be indicated on the back of your package of couscous (my recipe called for 1 1/4 cups of water).
There may also be a flavor pack or ‘seasoning’ along with your your couscous – you can add this to your water now (before boiling).
Add 2 tablespoons of my favorite olive oil to water and start on high heat.
As you wait for the water to boil, slice bell pepper and remove seeds.
Chop cilantro into desired-size pieces (I like large pieces of cilantro and stems, but not everybody does)
Once water begins to boil, stir in couscous – slowly.
After couscous is thoroughly stirred in with boiling water mixture, remove from heat.
Let couscous sit for about 5 minutes in order to absorb the water.
While I am waiting for the couscous to absorb the water, I will open my can of black beans and drain the water from the can.
Check on couscous after 5 minutes, make sure it is moist and soft (this means it has absorbed all the water) and that there is no more liquid in the pot.
At this point you can add your couscous, black beans, and sliced red bell pepper to your dish. Add cilantro to top it off and enjoy!