As I’ve been taking part in Veganuary for 2020 I’ve had to adjust my meal plan to incorporate only vegan-friendly meals. Interestingly, it turned out I was already making vegan friendly meals on occasion, such as this healthy vegetable couscous that I originally devised so I could eat something both filling and budget-friendly whilst on the go. It’s a bit of a staple for me now because it’s so easy to make, so realising that it is vegan has been great! It’s also a really versatile recipe, meaning that you can adapt it to whatever it is that you need, and is a good choice for little ones as it’s both tasty and colourful.
Portions: 6 (lunch-sized)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Suitable for: vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free
- 300g dried couscous
- 350ml passata
- 1 can mixed beans (400g tin – 240g drained)
- ½ can sweetcorn (around 150g drained)
- 1 bell pepper of any colour – I use green to add more colour
- 1 onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp mixed herbs
- Olive or vegetable oil for frying
- Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour boiling water over until the water level is about 1cm higher than the couscous. Cover with a clean tea towel and move to one side.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and pepper and crush the garlic. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook the vegetables over a medium heat until softened.
- By now the couscous should be ready – once all water has gone separate and fluff the grains with a fork.
- Drain both the mixed beans and sweetcorn, if from a can.
- Add vegetables, mixed beans, sweetcorn, passata, and mixed herbs to the couscous – stir until completely mixed.
- Serve hot or cold – if using for a warm lunch, I microwave mine for two minutes on 800W.
- Consume within three days, or freeze for a later date.
- The vegetables I use work great however you can really add whatever you want – I have previously also added peas, mushroom, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot which all worked great!
- Flavours are also flexible here, depending on what you’re going for – this has a lovely Italian flavour to it with the mixed herbs, but you can easily make it taste Indian by substituting the herbs for cumin, turmeric, and curry powder instead, or Mexican with cumin, paprika, and chilli. Chicken seasoning mixes also work really well!
- I’ve found that cans of mixed beans can be difficult to come by at certain times of the year, so if this is the can then you can add a can of a single bean instead, such as kidney beans or chickpeas.
- A can of chopped tomatoes can also work instead of the passata, however I have found the couscous ends up less saucy once it has been stored in the fridge if made this way. To make the dish healthier you can substitute the passata for blended fresh tomatoes.
- This meal would also work well with quinoa or rice instead of couscous – bear in mind that the amount of each would likely differ.
What’s your favourite lunch recipe to take to work? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and pin!
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