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The Prediabetes Nutritionist

Herby Pearl Couscous with Roast Chicken

Nutrient-dense and low glycaemic pearl couscous salad with roast chicken.

Pearl couscous, also known as Giant couscous, Israeli couscous, or Jerusalem couscous, is essentially pasta shaped into tiny balls. Unlike other high-carbohydrate foods such as rice and bread, pasta is considered low-glycaemic, meaning in moderate portions, it will not cause blood sugar spikes. 

If you’ve ever wondered why pasta is low-glycaemic, it is because the structure of starch in pasta changes during the manufacturing process. The change in starch structure makes pasta slower to digest, reducing the rate glucose enters the bloodstream and thus blood sugar levels. 

It is still essential to eat moderate portions of pasta and, better yet, pair it with good quality facts and proteins to retain its low GI and prevent blood sugar spikes. 

Before I share the recipe for this herby pearl couscous and roast chicken dish, let’s explore its

Nutritional Highlights 

This meal has an estimated glycaemic index of 2.3, meaning it is a low GI meal that won’t spike your blood sugars. It is a rich source of protein and several vitamins and minerals, including:

Potassium, which is crucial for salt balance and healthy blood pressure. This meal provides 985mg of potassium per serving, or 49% of the daily reference intake (RI).

Zinc, which is a component of more than 200 proteins in our bodies. It plays a crucial role in immunity, cell growth, skin health and sexual function. Zinc also maintains vision, taste and smell. This meal provides 4.1 mg of zinc per serving, or 41%.

Vitamin A, which is necessary for maintaining the health and structure of the skin, and it is beneficial for alleviating many skin disorders, including acne and psoriasis. Vitamin A plays an essential role in sexual health, immunity, vision, and adrenal and thyroid function. This meal provides 347 mcg of vitamin A per serving or 43% RI. 

Folates, which are crucial for DNA production. Insufficient folic acid results in poor growth, diarrhoea, anaemia, gingivitis, and abnormal cervical smear in women. Folates are critical for a baby’s developing nervous system, and deficiencies can lead to birth defects. This meal provides 90 mcg of folates per serving or 45% RI. 

How to Cook Pearl Couscous with Roast Chicken

Serves 4                 Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the couscous

200g pearl couscous

2 tablespoons steamed peas (optional)

2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

4 tablespoons chopped mint

Salt and black pepper to taste

For the chicken

4 small chicken leg 

1 chicken stock cube

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

1 tablespoon paprika

For the salad

200g mixed baby leaves

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

200g cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 large cucumber, sliced then quartered

Salt and black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions

Add couscous to a large pan of boiling salted water. Cook the couscous for around 8 mins, then drain. Allow to cool, then toss with mint, parsley, peas if using extra virgin olive oil and black pepper, then set aside.

Put all the ingredients for the chicken into a large saucepan. Add about 400ml of water and cook on medium heat until the chicken is tender and all its liquid evaporates. Put the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then roast in the oven at 220C for 10 minutes just to brown. 

Toss all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and set aside. 

Serve couscous with baked chicken and salad. Enjoy!

Print
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Herby Pearl Couscous with Roast Chicken

  • Author: Somi Igbene PhD ANutr
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Seves 4
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner

Description

Nutrient-dense and low glycemic pearl couscous with salad and roast chicken.


Ingredients

Scale

For the couscous

  • 200g pearl couscous
  • 2 tablespoons steamed peas (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

 For the chicken

  • 4 small chicken leg
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

For the salad

  • 200g mixed baby leaves
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced then quartered
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions

Add couscous to a large pan of boiling salted water. Cook the couscous for around 8 mins, then drain. Allow to cool, then toss with mint, parsley, peas if using extra virgin olive oil and black pepper, then set aside.

Put all the ingredients for the chicken into a large saucepan. Add about 400ml of water and cook on medium heat until the chicken is tender and all its liquid evaporates. Put the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then roast in the oven at 220C for 10 minutes just to brown.

Toss all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and set aside.

Serve couscous with baked chicken and salad. Enjoy!



Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Per serving
  • Calories: 606
  • Sugar: 5.6g
  • Sodium: 453mg
  • Fat: 33.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.93
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 6.4g
  • Protein: 30.4g

Keywords: couscous, roast chicken, salad

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