5 Minute Meal - Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous

Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous
Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous

Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous is one of those "accidentally vegan" products. It seems to be available in just about all of the grocery stores around here. I bought it because it says "cooks in 5 minutes" and that's about all the time I had. Not only does it cook in 5 minutes, but it is very easy to make.

To make it, you only need to combine the couscous and spice packet with boiling water and olive oil (not actually required), wait for 5 minutes, and it's ready to eat. The directions tell you to combine it in a saucepan on the stove, but this time I just boiled the water in my teakettle and poured it over everything because I needed a hot cup of tea anyway and I thought I'd save energy this way. It turns out delicious both ways. You can also cook this couscous in the microwave, which makes it great for cooking in a hotel room (if you have a bowl) or in a dorm room.

One of my favorite things about this product is that it doesn't have a lot of unnecessary packaging and it doesn't have any plastic bags! Lately I have become really aware of packaging and I've been trying to reduce my environmental impact. I do realize that going vegan is the biggest thing you can do to lessen your environmental impact, but there is still a lot I can do. Knowing that there is so much plastic in the ocean makes me sick and I find myself picturing those bird skeletons with undigested plastic pieces in their stomachs when I look at unrecyclable plastic.

My husband will eat couscous, but it's definitely not his favorite thing (which is really surprising to me because he could live on wheat alone). He said this was "really good" which means a lot coming from someone who likes his grains to be jazzed up with vegetables and Indian spices (unless they come in the form of bread.)

I do realize that couscous only takes 5 minutes to cook and you could add your own seasonings, but I thought I'd give this one a try and I am glad I did. You can't chop onion and garlic and roast the garlic in 5 minutes anyway. The Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous has the convenience most people want nowadays without a giant list of unrecognizable ingredients and a ton of unnecessary plastic bags.

This product makes a great side dish, snack, small meal, stuffing for a squash or vegetable. It's also good with some added ingredients like vegetables, legumes or nuts.  It is totally something I would pack for travel, especially travel to those not-so-vegan-friendly places in Middle America. You could even use the coffee maker to get boiling water if you are staying at a hotel room that didn't have a microwave.