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Couscous is a dish that only recently gained popularity in the Western world although the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania) have been making it for centuries.

Many people mistake couscous for a grain, because of its small, round shape and yellowish color, but it is in fact a type of pasta made from the semolina flour.

Couscous is sodium and fat free, and it is a good source of carbohydrates.

Couscous makes and excellent side dish, especially if combined with vegetables or fruit. Today most supermarkets and grocery stores offer instant couscous that is pre-steamed and only requires about five minutes of cooking.

Basic couscous recipe includes stirring one cup of couscous with one and a half cups of water or stock and some salt, and then removing it from the heat and leaving it for five minutes. One cup of dried couscous makes four servings.

Here some of the ideas for preparing a delicious couscous meal.

Dried Cherry Couscous

The first thing to do is to cook the couscous according to the basic recipe. One large carrot, diced, two peppers and one cup of sliced green onions are sautéed on some olive oil until tender and then tossed over the couscous. Half pound of dried cherries and alt and pepper according to the taste are added over the mixture and the dish is ready. It goes very well with turkey roast or with chicken.

Couscous with herbs

This recipe requires two cups of black beans, canned, one pepper, sliced, two tomatoes, diced, half a cup of fresh parsley, two tablespoons of fresh dill, one tablespoon of mixture of fresh oregano and basil, two green onions, chopped and two tablespoons of lemon juice. This dish is very simple to make because it only takes the basic couscous preparation and the other ingredients are simply tossed over without cooking.

Breakfast couscous

This tasty recipe is an excellent way to do something different for your breakfast, and it is also very healthy and provides enough energy.

Half a cup of dried couscous, three quarters of a cup of water, one quarter of a cup of orange juice, some orange zest, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of apple juice and a dash of cinnamon are simply mixed together in a microwave-safe casserole bowl and microwaved for 5-6 minutes, until the water is absorbed. This dish will be even more delicious if allowed to rest for about a minute or two in a covered bowl.

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