Couscous Salad

This salad doesn't get any easier! I whipped it together in the morning before heading to work and ate it for lunch. Healthy, quick, and tasty. It does taste better after it's had some time to chill, which is why making it in the morning works really well. Alternatively, I have been known to spread a thin layer of cooked couscous on a plate and place in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it quickly.

Couscous is often mistakenly called a grain even though it is actually really small pasta. But, you can use it like you would rice, quinoa, bulgar or farro. The best part about couscous is that it is super easy to make. Just boil some water (or even better, broth), stir in the couscous, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Done!

For this salad, I just added the vegetables I had on hand, so you can modify them as you wish. I do recommend using cucumber and tomatoes at the very least.

The dressing I use is simply olive oil and red wine vinegar with a ratio of nearly 1 to 1. Couscous absorbs a lot of the dressing, so add more vinegar than usual so that the flavor doesn't get lost.

For an extra nutritional punch, I sprinkled in some chia seeds. Chia seeds are great! They are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, protein, and antioxidants. I get mine in the bulk spice section of my co-op, but you can also get them online. They can be used just like flax and have a similar nutritional profile. Chia seeds don't have the weird flavor that flax can have and I like the color that they added to this salad!

Couscous Salad
6 servings, 10 minutes prep + time to chill

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cucumber, diced (about 1 medium cucumber)
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato, diced (about 1 medium tomato)
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, diced (about 1 medium bell pepper)
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place couscous in a medium sized bowl. Stir in boiling water, cover, and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Cut up the vegetables and place the bowl with the couscous. Stir in the chia seeds. 
  3. In a small bowl or jar with a lid, add the oil and vinegar. Cover and shake until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Chill well before serving.

Labels: , , , ,