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Easy couscous with pumpkin seed pesto
Especially since lockdown I've been looking for the easiest vegan recipes possible. And now since the weather is nicer I also wanted to make dishes I could easily take with me to the park or even the beach (I love going down the Brighton as it's only 1 hour away from London). But I always seem to run late and then I only have just time to make a quick sandwich to take with me (which gets a bit boring after a while). So I developed this super easy couscous recipe that can be made in 10 minutes and eaten hot or cold. It's healthy and light, yet filling and comforting. And it's also very versatile - you can add salad leaves, tomatoes or peppers as well if you like.
And I decided to use pumpkin seeds because they are a good source of lots of minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron and are also very high in protein. And when you blend them with other ingredients you can make the most amazing healthy pesto. You can have it with couscous or with any pasta of your choice, it's quite versatile! Another idea would be to use it as a salad dressing. And if you add a little bit less water you could even use it as healthy mayo replacement in sandwiches.
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If you are looking for a great vegan picnic recipe that can be prepared in minutes, look no further! It's so delicious as well.
I love recipes that are versatile - you can eat it hot or cold and even add different veggies to it. Though if you remove the kalamata olives you might have to add a little bit of salt to it as well (all the seasoning comes from the veggie stock cube in this recipe).
But this isn't only a recipe for picnics. This couscous recipe is deffo going to be one of my office lunch staple dishes!
INGREDIENTS (2-3 portions):
Step 1 - preparing couscous:
- 150g Couscous
- 200ml water
Step 2 - pumpkin seed pesto:
- 250ml water
- 100g pumpkin seeds
- 3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 veggie stock cube
- 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
Step 3 - finish:
- 1/4 finely diced cucumber
- Plenty of freshly chopped parsley
- Handful of kalamata olives (70g)
Add 150g of couscous to a large bowl and pour 200ml boiling water over it. Stir to make sure the couscous is evenly hydrated and then cover with a lid for 5 minutes. These are the instructions for the couscous I used - check cooking instructions on the label of your couscous just to be sure.
In the meantime add all pumpkin seed pesto ingredients into a smoothie blender and blend until you get a smooth pesto. This should only take about 1 minute. The seasoning comes from the stock cube, there is no need to add extra salt.
Uncover the couscous and fluff it up with a fork. Pour the pumpkin seed pesto on top and add 1/4 finely diced cucumber, penty of freshly chopped parsley and a large handful of kalamate olives (around 70g). You can use any other kind of olives, but I love these becase they have a delicious and slightly meaty flavour and don't have much of a bitter taste.
Mix everything together and enjoy! Tip: if you like to eat this couscous dish warm then just heat up the pesto before pouring over the warm couscous.
And if you like this quick recipe, also check out my creamy pistachio pesto pasta recipe here.
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