Since I consistently overeat every time I set foot into a restaurant setting, I usually require some detoxification time – almost like a damage reversal plan. Eating healthy requires some planning and determination, and I always feel so much better afterwards. I am not a diehard couscous fan. I can’t say I dive into a bowl of couscous without abandon like I would with creamy risotto or pasta, but couscous doesn’t give me that bloated feeling I sometimes get from eating heavy pasta dishes, so I try to work it into my diet as often as possible. Even better, with a little more than a knife, a cutting board, a roasting pan, and a saucepan, a light and nourishing dinner can materialize in no time.
I wanted to use up these lovely little Indian eggplants I’d bought in a fit of excitement and without a game plan about what to do with them. They were going wrinkly a bit too fast for me to eat. Roasting is almost always the best cooking method when you don’t know what to do with a vegetable. Or throw it in a curry sauce. Or combine both ideas and you’ll end up with a dish like this one.
Couscous cooks up rather quickly, so this is my idea of a healthy dinner when I’m feeling supremely lazy. This dish can be served on its own as a vegetarian main course salad (add some chickpeas if you want it to be more substantial) or alongside roasted chicken or grilled pork chops for the meat eaters (ME!).
- 1½ lbs Indian eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 roasted red peppers (from the jar or you can roast your own), minced
- 2 tbsps cilantro, finely chopped, optional
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place eggplant cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
- In a large bowl, whisk together coriander, curry powder, and turmeric. Add roasted red peppers, roasted eggplants, and couscous, and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper and cilantro, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.