Spring into Couscous While Cleaning Your Pantry

It’s spring, and a time of year for renewal. It’s a time to clear out the old to make room for the new. Spring is a season to rejuvenate our homes and our lives – just like a caterpillar shrugs off its sluggish body to metamorphose into a beautiful, flying butterfly. I think you get my point!

As the sun shines longer, we also begin to think about spring cleaning. This includes cleaning out our refrigerators and pantries.

There’s always old food lurking around in the depths of the refrigerator or the back of the cupboard, hiding behind random containers, trying not to be noticed.

Like the open carton of sour cream I recently found in my refrigerator with the date January 12th (the day I opened it) written on top. Oops! A half-opened carton of sour cream smells wicked after three months, but perhaps you know this already!

Have you ever looked into your refrigerator and wondered how long that open jar of olives or salsa has been in there? I know I have. That’s why I’ve created “food date-opened Stickers,” now available in the Recipes to the Rescue shop. They’re cute stickers you can write the date onto and stick on any jar, container or package of perishable food after you open it. Dating your food when you open it is easy to do and will help cut down on food waste (plus save you money!)

Check out the new food date-opened sticker labels here.

Speaking of pantries, it’s always a good practice to go through your pantry before going to the grocery store. Write down what needs to be replenished and make note of what needs to be used up. Then, when storing items in the pantry, rotate them, bringing older items to the front and placing newer items to the back.

When I recently bought a box of couscous, I noticed I had four boxes already sitting in my pantry. Yep. I’ve been yearning to make a couscous salad for many months now, and continually bought boxes of couscous to do so. It’s time to use them up.

Hence the reason I’m sharing a couscous recipe. 

Couscous is a wheat product that is ready in just five minutes! It’s super easy to make, and great to serve as a side dish with fish or chicken. I hope you give it a try. Enjoy!

Couscous with Fresh Mint, Parsley, Apricots, Cucumber and Almonds

If you are looking for a side dish to serve with your main meal, then look no further. This is a fast couscous dish with cucumber, tomato, dried apricots, slivered almonds and a hint of cumin.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup boiling water
1 cup dry couscous

1 onion, chopped small
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped
6 dried apricots, chopped small
1/2 medium English cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped


1/4 cup orange Juice (from one medium-sized orange)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste


Pour 1 cup of dry couscous in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Give it a stir and then cover it with a plate for five minutes. Then, fluff with a fork and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger until soft, about 6-8 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl add the cooked couscous, cooked onion mixture, jalapeño pepper, apricots, cucumber, tomato, almonds, mint and parsley.

In a small container, combine the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard and cumin. Pour over the couscous mixture, season with salt and pepper, and combine well.