After 30 plus years on this earth, I’ve finally realized that there are a few things in my life that I NEED to keep my sanity. One is exercise – preferably outside in fresh air (Getting on a treadmill for more than 5 mile is pure torture for me). Two, at least 5 hours of sleep a night. And 3, nutritions, healthy, and easy to prepare food. My solution for good food is definitely fulfilled by recipes like this Lightly Spiced Couscous Salad with Cumbers and Red Onion.
As a mentioned in this post for chickpea salad, I struggle with lunch. If it’s not ready and available in the fridge, I just skip it. Then at 4 o’clock, I’m usually irritable and exhausted. My solution is simple: Make ahead salads packed with vegetables, healthy grains, and legumes just like this Lightly Spiced Couscous Salad from The Kitchn.
This salad is very easy to make and throw together. I use instant couscous. It’s made in about 5 minutes. The one finicky part of the recipe, if you can even call it finicky, is that the cucumbers and red onion must be cut very thin. As thin as possible. I hand cut mine, but if you have a mandoline slicer, then it’s even easier.
Aside from how delicious, easy, and healthy this Lightly Spiced Couscous Cumber and Red Onion Salad is, another reason I love it is that it’s a make ahead recipe. I make it the night before, giving the couscous and the vegetables time to absorb the flavor of the spices and vinaigrette. Because the cucumbers and red onion or cut so thin, they also absorb flavor, making each bite of the salad so well balanced and packed with flavor. You could eat it immediately after making it, but it’s way more flavorful if you let it sit for a bit.
Since the salad already made with a grain, I don’t really feel the need to pair it with any sort of bread. I usually toss is with whatever greens I have in the fridge (spinach or kale), and just eat it with a fork. But, if I need to eat it on the go, I’ll wrap it in some romaine lettuce leaves. That way, the Lightly Spiced Couscous Cumber and Red Onion salad is contained in a neat, easy to eat package.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced very thin
- 1/2 a medium red onion, sliced very thin
- 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced (about 3 tbs lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs honey, warm
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 3 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the water in a large sauce pan. Once boiling, pour in the couscous. Place a lid on the pot for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. Pour couscous into a large bowl.
- Add the chopped herbs, lemon zest, onions and cucumbers.
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, chili powder, and cumin. Pour it over the couscous mixture.
- Add the feta.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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