Frugal Gourmet: Warm Couscous Salad With Chickpeas and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

People generally think of salads as cold dishes that are best eaten in summer, but it doesn't have to be that way! This warm couscous salad, filled with vegetables and chickpeas, is a perfect dish to enjoy any time of year. Try it for dinner with a protein or for lunch with some pita.

Image Credit: Laura Carroll

Ingredients:

The super basics, if you’re super broke

1 cup of chickpeas, either canned or freshly cooked (for examples of ways to cook dried chickpeas, look here)

3 fresh tomatoes

1 cup dried couscous

1 stalk brussels sprouts

¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is the tastiest)

Optional Ingredients:

The slightly fancier stuff, if you have a few extra bucks

1 lemon

1 small bunch fresh parsley

Supplies:

1 small pot

1 skillet

Knife and cutting board

Grater (optional)

Serves two, but can easily be scaled. If you make extra, stick it in the freezer for a future meal!

Let's do this thing.

Cut the stem ends off the brussels sprouts, halve and discarding any wilted leaves.

Quarter the tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds and juice.

Drain the chickpeas

If you're using a lemon, zest it using a grater. Alternately, cut off strips of lemon skin with the knife and then finely chop the peeled lemon skin. Cut the lemon into quarters and remove the seeds.

If you're using parsley, strip the leaves from the stems and then chop the leaves.

To pan roast the brussel sprouts, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the sprouts, cut side down, and cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until they begin to brown. Stir to turn over the sprouts, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes until the sprouts are light golden brown and you can easily pierce them with a fork. If the pan seems too dry or the brussels sprouts are cooking too fast, you can add ¼ cup of water to help them cook more evenly.

To prepare the cous cous, boil 1 1/2 cups of water. Once it's boiling, add the couscous and stir. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and wait 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

As soon as the couscous is cooked, add the roasted brussels sprouts, tomatoes, chickpeas, and olive oil. If you're using lemon, add the zest now and squeeze the juice of 2 of the lemon wedges into the mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Add salt, pepper, more lemon juice, or more oil if needed.

Dish up the couscous into individual bowls, garnish with parsley if desired, and enjoy!