Years ago I had the great fortune to take several trips to Morocco for modeling jobs. It was so
incredible being able to travel to cities all over the country and to experience
the culture first hand. We would go to what are called souks, where the local merchants sell hand woven rugs, tagines (covered clay pots used to cook stews), food, jewelry and much more. It was always fun getting to take a break from work or shopping
(when time allowed) to eat delicious creations, many of which were made with couscous.
When I've asked people what they think couscous is, they usually say, "a grain". Actually, couscous is pasta made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat and then coating the tiny pieces with finely ground wheat flour. The quick-cook variety, which you can buy in stores, takes only minutes to steam.
Although I love a savory dish with couscous, I'm always trying to think of healthy sweet treats for Kenya that he will enjoy without giving him sugar. With that in mind, I came up with this vanilla bean couscous recipe. It couldn't be easier and you can make as much or as little as you want just by increasing the amount of milk and couscous. If you want to make it even sweeter, you could add some agave nectar, but when Kenya, his grandmother and I tried it today we thought it was heavenly just like it is.
Vanilla Bean Couscous (Makes 6 Toddler Servings)
- 1/2 Cup plus 3 Tbsp Whole Milk
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/3 of a Vanilla Bean, about 1 inch long
- 1/2 Cup couscous
Preparation1. Place the water and 1/2 cup of the whole milk to a small saucepan.
2. With a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half. Starting at one end of the bean, using the flat side of the knife, scrape the seeds out of the pod. Add the seeds (it won’t seem like a lot, but it is) to the saucepan with the milk and the remaining vanilla bean.
3. Bring the liquid and vanilla to a boil.
4. Add the couscous, stir, reduce to a simmer and cover.
5. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Stir the couscous, breaking up any clumps, add the remaining 3 Tbsp of milk.
7. Remove the whole vanilla bean.
8. Cool and serve.