Need more flavor fast?
Stock the pantry with instant couscous, a low-fat source of complex carbohydrates that is faster to prepare than most types of rice. You can find an array of flavors thanks to the addition of garlic, herbs, curry, Parmesan or pine nuts.
The starch of choice across North Africa, couscous is often referred to as a grain, but it's a fluffy semolina (think pasta).
Moroccan cooks typically use saffron to flavor couscous dishes, but this recipe creates warm fall flavors by using pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and cumin.
We used a 5.8-ounce box of Near East brand roasted garlic and olive oil couscous. The brand you choose might affect the nutritional analysis, so check the label.
Money-saving tip: Pumpkin pie spice is less expensive than saffron, but you can save money by making your own version using spices commonly found in the American spice cabinet. Combine 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon plus 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon plus 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice.
Moroccan-style skillet chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ -inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
5.8-ounce box roasted garlic and olive oil couscous, prepared according to package directions
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is done, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
Add garlic to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and cumin. Simmer 5 minutes; add peas and chicken, and heat through. Stir in cilantro. Serve over hot couscous.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 387 calories, 7 g. total fat, 66 mg. cholesterol, 46 g. carbohydrates, 37 g. protein, 690 mg. sodium, 6 g. dietary fiber.