I can easily say that this salad is one of my all time favorite concoctions (and I have made quite a lot of yummy concoctions before). I thought of it/made it for the first time last week, and I've been craving it since. Warm salads are such a treat this time of year; they're a great way to get some fresh veggies and greens into your diet without sacrificing the comfort-food craving that has become oh so strong nearing the end of winter.
It may very well be one of my favorite concoctions because couscous is one of my favorite foods. Couscous is a great grain that is fluffy, delicious, and super simple and fast to make. I eat it often as a side, to fish and tofu, but this is the first time I have made it the center of a meal. While hunting for lunch ideas after an afternoon workout, I saw we had a few boxes of couscous in the pantry. I wasn't much in the mood to cook much of a full meal and was craving something more light and fresh; couscous salad it was! I kept things really simple by using the box mix of couscous to add instant flavor to salad. I paired the Near East wild mushroom & herb couscous mix with some grilled balsamic veggies and lots of spinach, which made a perfect combination. Feta cheese crumbles and fresh slices of tomato really set everything together.
See the full recipe below and give this warm, filling salad a try!
Balsamic Veggie and Couscous Salad
yield: 3 large servings or 5-6 starters/sides | adapted from this recipe
1 box couscous mix or 1 cup uncooked couscous
1 zucchini, sliced
2-3 large mushrooms, sliced
1/2 a small red onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Cook couscous according to instructions on the back of the box; cover and set aside. If not using a couscous box mix, bring two cups vegetable broth to boil, remove from heat stirring in one cup of couscous; cover and set aside.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the zucchini and red onion. Cook until vegetables are tender, then add in the mushroom.
3. Cook until all veggies are tender and start to turn golden. Add in the balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for another few minutes, until all flavors seem combined. Set aside.
4. Fluff the couscous thoroughly with a fork. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach leaves. Stir in the grilled balsamic vegetables and the feta cheese. Serve warm, topping each serving with a few fresh slices of tomato.
Simple and savory. Enjoy!