What to do, invited to a BBQ, and asked to bring along something for the BBQ and a salad. I don’t know about you, but when I’m invited to something like this, I like to try out something a bit different than the standard lettuce salad!
So, I decided to set myself a task of making a salad I’d never attempted before. Couscous has been popping up in my life a lot lately, so I wanted to make a couscous salad. I also wanted a salad that I knew had health benefits for myself and my friends too and utilised the herbs I had growing in my garden.
I started out by doing a simple google search for Couscous Salads and found several options that all looked tempting and inspiring. Me, being me, I couldn’t follow the recipe, so I developed my own. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and enjoy the fact that it is balanced with herbs, vegetables and couscous (fibre and carbohydrates), as well as being approximately 126 calories per serve.
I love having salads that combine with an easy to prepare protein to create a meal with 400 – 600 calories. This salad went very well with Tandori chicken breasts or with grilled salmon steaks.
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1.5 cups couscous
- 0.5 cup cracked bulgar wheat
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped into 2 cm pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp cumin
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 0.25 cup of mixed fresh herbs (I used coriander, parsley & sage), finely chopped
- 4 T lemon juice (for dressing)
- 1 roasted pepper
- 0.5 cup toasted pine nuts (do this in a dry pan, take care as they toast very quickly)
- 0.5 cup cranberries
- 1 T olive oil
- Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the couscous and cracked wheat, stir into the stock, cover and set to one side for 5 minutes. Once all the liquid is absorbed, fluff up with a fork. Let cool.
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
- In the same pan (keep the dishes down!), add the olive oil, heat gently then add the onions, stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic (crushed), cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, cook, with stirring, for 30 seconds, or until fragrant – smells divine!
- Add the chopped tomato, pine nuts and pepper. Cook, with stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- When cooled, I left for about 0.5 hour, mix together in a bowl the couscous, chopped herbs and cooked onion/tomato/pinenuts/pepper/spices mix. Add the lemon juice as a dressing. Taste and season as required with pepper.
I think this was better preparing it the day before it was needed, but you decide!