Sooo let’s play a game. Specifically, let’s play the “how long can we subsist on the food in our kitchen cabinets without going grocery shopping?” game.
Typically B and I go grocery shopping on Sunday for the week. A few weeks ago we broke routine and stopped by the store for some snacks on a Saturday, insisting all we needed were pretzels, hummus, and almond butter because “we’d be back tomorrow”. Well, sure enough, a drive to see the leaves on Sunday turned into a trip to the park, some browsing at the outlet mall, and a necessary odds and ends errand to Lowe’s. We came home, ate some leftovers for dinner, and got all comfy cozy in sweatpants for optimal RHONJ reunion watching (me, not B) and legit forgot all about grocery shopping. Until it was Monday morning and we were at work. Oh nooo!!
Because the last thing in the entire universe I want to do after work is to run errands, we decided to see if we could make it through the week cooking meals using just what was in our cabinets, fridge, and freezer.
Hence, this BBQ Fried Couscous. A zesty and flavorful dish that’s satisfying and super customizable based on what you’ve got on hand. Believe me, I know.
This BBQ fried couscous has a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but thankfully this + that mesh so well together, you’d never think it’s the random mix it really is. Sausage, eggs, and chickpeas add the protein necessary for it to count as a meal in my eyes, with boatloads of flavor being brought (“oh, it’s already been brought-en”, says the smoked sausage) by the BBQ sauce, cheese, and the rest of the crew. The couscous absorbs all of the BBQ sauce and olive oil, resulting in a seriously flavorful and creamy base. Such a quick and easy way to spice up a big batch of a traditionally neutral
grain pasta errr, dish!
Would I have thought to throw this combo together if I had the usual suspects (chicken, beef, veggie burgers) hanging around the kitchen? Probably not…but I’m so glad I did!
First of all, can whipping up a batch of couscous get any easier? You bring water and a smidge of salt to a boil, add couscous, stir for a sec, remove from heat, and cover. Come back a few minutes later and fluff it up. Done! Couscous is a weeknight dinner savior.
As with a lot of recipes I chit chat about on here, this one is totally open for your customizations. I happened to have a section of smoked sausage left over so I browned it and threw it into the mix. You can certainly omit. Same goes for the eggs, the hot sauce, the chickpeas…are you picking up what I’m putting down? This is your BBQ fried couscous. What better way to clean out your cabinets and stave off a grocery shopping errand than to play Iron Chef with what’s in your fridge/freezer/cabinets?
I’m happy to report that after a week of creative, cabinet-clearing thinking, we made it to our next Sunday grocery trip and were properly nourished all the while. Sometimes we fall into a rut of weeknight dinners and make the same chicken/burger/salad/pasta dishes over and over. This week pushed us outside our sleepy little comfort zone and brought some much needed variety to our Monday-to-Fridays.
Still, have I stopped creepily smiling when I peep our now stocked to the brim fridge and freezer? Nope! 🙂
BBQ Fried Couscous
- 2 1/2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups couscous
- 3 eggs
- 1 approx. 8-inch section of fully-cooked smoked sausage
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 3/4 tsp minced garlic
- One-quarter of an onion chopped
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
- 2-3 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- In a small/medium saucepan set over high heat, add water and salt and stir. Once boiling, pour in couscous and remove from heat. Stir and cover, allowing couscous to sit for 4-5 minutes or until water is fully absorbed. Fluff with fork and set couscous aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, crack eggs and whisk. Pour into a greased skillet set over medium heat. Allow eggs to cook, occasionally pushing edges into the center to allow for all liquid parts to cook. Once eggs are cooked and scrambled, transfer eggs to a separate plate.
- Next brown the smoked sausage in a cast iron grill pan or a greased skillet. Once browned, cut into smaller pieces and set aside.
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, add cooked couscous and olive oil and stir to combine. Add BBQ sauce and stir so couscous is coated evenly. Add onion, chickpeas, ancho chili powder, basil, and hot sauce and stir until combined. Let mixture heat and cook for a few minutes, then add smoked sausage and eggs. Add cheese and let couscous cook for a few minutes, until cheese is melted. Give everything a good stir and serve warm.