Tag Archives: Salad

A beautiful, spicy salad with COUSCOUS Pearls

It started with the spotting of whole wheat pearl couscous in the aisles of Wegmans, the familiar packaging of Bob’s Red Mill grains beckoning me. I have never cooked with pearl couscous before, but the idea of turning these beautiful grains into a healthy lunch sounded good. I looked up a few recipes that used regular couscous and decided to throw together things in my fridge and pantry to create this wonderful, deeply satisfying salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 14 cherry tomatoes
  • 8-10 nuts of your choice (I used leftover macademia nuts)
  • 2 tbps raisins or craisins (I used craisins)
  • 2 tsps ras el hanout (a north African spice mix available on Amazon)
  • 2 green chilis finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon

How to:

  1. Roast the couscous in a pan for 10 minutes till light brown and set aside.

  2. Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil, add the roasted couscous and salt and cook over a low flame till the couscous is cooked and the water has evaporated. This took me about 12 minutes.

  3. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl.

  4. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in the pan that you used to cook the couscous, add the chopped onions and sauté till the onions turn brown. Add the cherry tomatoes, nuts, raisins and ras el hanout and toss till the tomatoes are coated with the spice.

  5. Turn off the heat and toss the onion mix into the cooked couscous.

  6. Now add the chilies, cilantro, parsley and lemon juice. Give the contents another toss and serve warm or at room temperature.


    Note: If your tolerance for spices is low, cut back the ras el hanout to one tsp and use one chili instead.

Oh dear carrots – you’ve warmed my heart on a cold winter day!

glThey sat there in the fridge looking expectantly at me on a cold winter day.  The little bag of baby carrots, waiting to be let out and begging me to unleash some creativity.

Hunger and not necessity is sometimes the mother of invention.  So, I took the carrots and blanched the entire contents of the little bag.  And then very simply tossed these warm carrots with tahini, olive oil, berbere, green chillies, fresh coriander, mint and lemon juice to create a salad that was the perfect, healthy lunch.  It really is as simple as mixing these ingredients, but if you need a more precise how-to, here it is.

Ingredients:

One small bag of baby carrots (One pound bag)

Two tbsps tahini

One tbsp olive oil

Two tbsps chopped coriander leaves

Two tbsps chopped mint leaves

Two tsps berbere (or paprika or one tsp chilly powder)

One hot green chilly finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

How to:

Mix all the ingredients and serve hot or cold as a salad or side dish.  If you have a few pomegranate seeds, you can use these for a colorful garnish.

 

 

 

A few last dates between zucchinis and tomatoes before they are gone!

It’s October; that means if we are lucky, we have several more weeks of the best veggies that we can pick up at our local farm.  Yesterday, I picked up the juiciest cherry tomatoes and zucchinis that looked absolutely beautiful in the most exuberant shade of green.  So for lunch today, I created a salad for one with these two ingredients being the mainstay.  Not only was it delish, you’ve got to agree that it is just a beautiful sight to behold as well!

Ingredients:

One small zucchini converted into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

8-10 cherry tomatoes halved

8-10 pistachios (or any nut for crunch)

One tsp extra virgin olive oil

One tsp lemon juice

Half a tsp of berbere, paprika or chili powder

Salt to taste

 

How to:

Put the zucchini ribbons at the center of a plate.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes, cut side up, in a circle around the zucchini.

Sprinkle salt to taste and berbere (or paprika or chili powder) on the zucchini ribbons and tomatoes.

Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad.

Garnish with pistachios (or other nuts) and dig in!