It’s that time of the year again where we’re all savouring the last days of our own bedrooms, home cooked meals and days spent with our best hometown friends. Moving into university accommodation comes with a lot of perks, without a doubt, but the biggest downside is that the only person responsible for keeping yourself alive and healthy is – you guessed it – you.
Along with the added downside of online classes, I think it’s quite important that we all try pretty hard to stay sane while cooped up in our new bedroom, lecture hall, and workspace, all neatly (one can hope) wrapped into one. Cooking an actual, well-balanced meal for yourself during university can honestly be counted as a huge win and a sign of having your life together. As such, here is an easy and fuss-free recipe I came across during quarantine in my avid daily scroll of TikTok (please, don’t judge me) that hits almost all the necessary food groups, is healthy, and delicious. Prep Time: 20 minutes (or less) Servings: 2 Vegetarian but can be made vegan.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- ¾ Knorr vegetable stock cube
- ¼ tsp turmeric (a superfood and beauty food)
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne or chilli powder (adjust to your liking)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Sprinkle of chili flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ onion
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- Crumbled feta
- ½ cup chopped cucumbers
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place your cup of couscous in a bowl and add in 1 ½ cups of boiling hot water along with the vegetable stock cube, garlic powder and chilli flakes, then stir and cover with a plate until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Heat some oil in a pan and sauté your crushed garlic and onion until fragrant. Then add in your tomato puree along with the chickpeas and stir.
- Add in your turmeric, cumin, chilli powder and lemon juice and combine well. Make sure to add salt and pepper to your liking. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until everything is fragrant and well combined.
- To make the salad combine your cucumber, tomatoes and parsley and toss them in your lemon, olive and salt and pepper.
- To plate, add your couscous to one third of the bowl, your chickpeas to one third of the bowl and your salad to the remaining one third. Top with some humus, more parsley, a sprinkle of cayenne for an extra kick and some crumbled feta (omit the feta if you want to make this vegan).
I used to be and still sometimes am an extremely picky eater and an avid carnivore, but this dish hits all the right flavour profiles and I make it whenever I want something hearty and delicious. You can make any variation of this recipe and easily make it your own, adding or removing ingredients to your liking. Even if you’re not vegetarian, this dish is nutritious, flavourful and most importantly, pretty easy!