Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Ainsley Harriott Spice Sensation Cous Cous Recipe Review

Cous cous goes through phases of being fashionable to eat - it can be eaten as it comes but it's much better livened up a bit with a boost of flavours!

We were sent a pack of Ainsley Harriott Spice Sensation Cous Cous - the instructions on the packet are really simple to follow and it's great as a stand alone side dish or as part of a salad... but we decided to try something different.  We made cous cous stuffed peppers with garlic and shallots with minted lamb kebabs and garlic bread.... yum yum!

The recipe is simple - cut the peppers in half lengthways (1 each for a main course or one between two for a starter or snack), remove the seeds and drizzle a little olive oil into each one.  Add crushed garlic and shallots/red onion/onion which ever you prefer (or have in the fridge!).  We used shallots and garlic - 2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic to serve 4.

Place on a baking sheet in a pre-heated oven (Gas 6) for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the cous cous as per the packet instructions.  Finely chop a couple of mushrooms and grate about 100g of cheese.  After the first 20 minutes in the oven, remove the tray, add a couple of pieces of mushroom to each pepper and spoonful or 2 of cous cous.  Return to the oven for about 15 minutes then top with cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with lamb kebabs (local butcher.... yummy!) and garlic bread... or whatever takes your fancy!  We all ate this as a family - little ones included.  My 5 year old actually prefers cous cous to rice - but pasta still reigns as his all time favourite food!

We had some cous cous left which we mixed with some left over mushrooms and ate cold with a salad the following day... I like the flavour just as much cold as warm and so this makes a great packed lunch option for work or school/college.

Cous cous is a healthy alternative to rice or pasta.  It is amongst the healthiest grain-based products widely available.  When comparing to pasta, it has a lower glycemic index figure (25% lower in fact), contains twice as much riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate and four times as much thiamine and pantothenic acid.  It has the same amount of protein in as pasta but exceeds the amount of protein in white rice.  Also, cous cous has a 1% fat-to-calorie ratio compared to 3% for white rice and 5% for pasta.  Source - Wikipedia.

You can flavour plain cous cous with basically anything, but the ready flavoured packs from Ainsley Harriott are ideal as the flavour combinations are great and versatile with different meats and/or vegetables.  Choose from Roasted Vegetable, Spice Sensation, Wild Mushroom, Chilli, Aromatic Thai Style, Moroccan Medley, Sundried Tomato & Garlic or Lemon, Mint & Parsley.

Keep up to date with recipe ideas and new products by liking the Ainsley Harriott Foods Facebook page here.

From my family's point of view, cous cous is here to stay and with the variety of flavours on offer, there's no reason to be bored of eating the same thing week in, week out!  Replace your pasta or rice once a week to try something new!