Meat Free Monday

I am a big fan of couscous for its convenience – the quick-cook couscous just involves soaking or simmering the couscous in boiling water for about ten minutes to rehydrate it.   Couscous is a small granular type of pasta. It can be used hot or cold either as a main dish or as an accompaniment.

I like to add vegetables to mine, like this recipe for couscous with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. You can also add roasted vegetables of your choice, tossed almonds and perhaps flavour it with a spice such as cinnamon.


85g/3oz sun-dried tomatoes, from a bag
535ml/19fl oz water
215g/7½oz couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
4½ cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1½ bunches spring onions, chopped
25g/1oz fresh basil leaves
¾ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
170g/6oz mushrooms, sliced


1. Place the sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl with the water. Soak for 30 minutes, until rehydrated. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving the water, and roughly chop the tomatoes.
2. Place a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the reserved sun-dried tomato water and bring to the boil.
3. Add the couscous and stir in. Remove the saucepan from heat, cover with a lid and allow to sit for five minutes, until liquid has been absorbed by the couscous. Gently fluff the couscous with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and spring onions and sauté for five minutes, until the spring onions are tender.
5. Add the basil and lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
7. Add the mushroom mixture to the couscous, stir through to mix well and serve.