by Maria on May 11, 2012


Couscous. In our family it’s the ultimate go-to side for dinner. I have been serving whole wheat couscous to my kids since they first started chewing. Perhaps it’s the fine consistency that makes it so easy to chew, the simple flavor, or the way it sticks together when served with a rounded scooper—like a sand castle would. After I once stuck a broccoli floret and some carrot sticks in it the boys dubbed it couscous castle.
What I like best about whole wheat couscous is

  • It’s 5-star nutrition profile—it provides 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per ½ cup cooked serving.

  • It takes just 7 minutes to prepare—2 minutes to bring the water to a boil and then 5 minutes to let the couscous sit and absorb the water.

  • I know my kids will eat it and love it.



The key is finding whole wheat couscous, which is going to be higher in protein, fiber, and other nutrients than its refined cousin. I buy it in bulk at our local Whole Foods, but you can also find in the rice section of the grocery store, Near East and Rice Select are the two brands I see most.

While couscous cooked in plain water is fine, it becomes more appealing when given a flavor boost. I like to add a teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon chicken or vegetable base to the water, but you could also use stock or broth if you have it on hand. I also add a teaspoon or two of canola or olive oil.  You could also stir in some chopped fresh parsley or scallions.

My favorite 10 minutes or less healthy dinner for the kids: whole wheat couscous, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks, and Swedish Meatballs or homemade chicken nuggets from the freezer.


Whole Wheat Couscous

 Serves 4

1 ¼ cups water
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup couscous


  1. Place water in a small saucepan. Add oil and bouillon. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add couscous. Stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with fork.
  3. To make sandcastle-like portions, serve with a rounded scooper.



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