Earlier this week I was sent my housing option for the summer. An entire three months on the East Coast, and all I could think about was how I could get my entire kitchen from here to Washington, D.C. It was then that it hit me how much I actually think about food.
Thinking about my meal choices has become a mind-boggling thought experiment that I carry around with me for days when I have nothing better to do than think about food, and also when I do have better things to do — like homework.
Even thinking about what I want to pin down as my favorite food of the week for this food blog has become a challenge. There are just so many spices and breads and sauces out there that I can hardly keep myself from making five dinners a night. But I restrain myself on behalf of my parents, who still think my brother Brennan also needs to eat. Of course, his diet is a little easier to fund: chocolate and Lay’s potato chips.
This week, though, it was a no-brainer. I bought a little container of plain couscous from Safeway and haven’t eaten very much else in days. There’s this great recipe I found that combines couscous with shallots and vegetable broth, and somehow, it is just the right mix of all my favorite things. I keep making it over and over again.
The great thing about couscous: It’s portable. You can often see me trekking the campus hills to the library, 10-gallon rice bowl in hand. The better thing about couscous: It tastes just as good cold as it does hot, so no need to locate a microwave to reheat.
Couscous is one of those foods that will stay good for years, similar to dry beans. So there’s also no need to worry about buying a food that might not last over summer break, because couscous is about as hardy and unwavering as my relatives when they’re arguing politics over the holidays.
For this recipe, I replaced the chicken broth with vegetable broth, which made it completely vegan, and also nixed the nuts and currants, but you can add them in for extra crunch and flavor. What I’ve found with the many, many batches I’ve made of this recipe is that it’s very filling and doesn’t take a toll on your daily calorie count.
It’s healthy and delicious, and a great comfort food to come back to at the end of the day, especially when I spend the majority of my class time dreaming of it.