For variety, add or substitute other vegetables, such as diced red bell pepper or steamed cut asparagus. This dish is a great accompaniment for marinated and grilled chicken breasts.

1 cup water or chicken broth

1 cup couscous

1 carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice

½ cup frozen peas (preferably baby peas), thawed

Sesame-Orange Dressing

½ teaspoon orange zest

½ cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark (Asian) sesame oil

½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

? teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Bring the water or broth nearly to a boil in a small covered saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the couscous. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed.

Meanwhile, put the carrot in a small microwave-proof dish; add about 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until tender. (Or cook the carrot in a stovetop steamer.) Drain well and allow to cool.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

Fluff the couscous with a fork; stir in the carrot and peas. Add the dressing and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Advance Preparation

This dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.