Couscous Salad Recipe


Couscous Recipe

This couscous salad is an adaptation from a recipe I found somewhere. The salad itself was okay but I made a few changes to suit my own taste. I did not like the original dressing so made a few changes there as well.
This salad uses several ingredients and is a complete meal. Ideal for the vegetarian or someone looking to eat healthy. You are allowed to make changes to suit your budget and taste as well.
Couscous is very easy to prepare and easy to cool as well so if you don't have leftovers you can just prepare it half hour before you are ready to put your salad together. Make the dressing first so it can be chilled.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prepared couscous, cooled
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumbers, (seeds removed)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 6 large iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans, (optional)
  • 1 sweet orange, pegged or sectioned, (remove white coating)
  • several mint leaves

    Instructions

    1. For Couscous: To get one cup of couscous boil 1 1/4 cups water with 1/4 teaspoon or 2 pinches of salt in a sauce pan. Add 3/4 cup couscous, stir and turn off flames. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Let cool
    2. For lentils: Cook 3 tablespoons of lentils in 1/2 cup water for ten minutes or until tender but not soft. Drain and let cool.
    3. In a bowl combine cooled lentils, cooled couscous, chickpeas (optional), raisins and cucumbers.
    4. In a large bowl arrange lettuce leaves and pour in salad. Sprinkle on pumpkin or sunflower seeds when almost ready to serve and fluff with a fork.
    5. Arrange orange pegs and mint leaves on top.
    6. Serve in individual bowls by drizzling yogurt dressing on top.

    Dressing

    1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
    4 tablespoons honey
    1/4 teaspoon lime rind
    2 teaspoon lime juice

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill till ready to use.
    Note: After grating your lime rind add a pinch at a time to get your desired taste. Too much may cause the dressing to be bitter.

    Cook Time

    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Ready in: 
    Yields: 2 - 4 servings




    Variations to the Couscous salad

    I love couscous but wanted a firmer texture for the grain so I tried the recipe with millet. I also made some millet/quinoa combination and tried that instead of the couscous and loved it.
    Here are some substitutes or additions
    • Kidney beans for lentils
    • Fresh grapes slices for raisins
    • Papaya for orange
    • Basil for mint
    • Sliced roasted almonds for seeds
    • sliced olive added
    • Brown rice for couscous
    • millet for couscous
    • Millet/quinoa for couscous
    • Rye berries addition
    • Chopped curled leaf parsley instead of mint
    • Diced bell peppers addition
    • Omit the dressing altogether
    • Omit the lime rind from the dressing
    • Use a ranch dressing instead
    • Use a thousand island dressing instead
    For added flavor I also drizzled a little (just a few drops) of olive oil in the water for the couscous.
    Healthy
    This salad is both delicious and nutritious. Notice the low fat ingredients used along with ingredients that are rich in dietary fiber. Low in carbs and rich in protein. Good for any diet.
    This salad contains all the food groups that are required on a daily basis
    • fruits
    • dairy
    • whole grains
    • nuts
    • protein from legumes
    • vegetables

    How to fry an egg

    Sunny side up eggs

    Fried eggs

    Sunny side up eggs

    It is beast to use fresh eggs for frying in a non-stick heavy skillet. All you need to do is use a tip of butter or cooking spray.
    Do not over-heat the pan. It is best to fry the egg on low flames and let it slowly cook. A sunny side egg is done when all the white is firm especially around the edges of the yolk. The yolk should look fresh and shiny but not opaque.
    If the flames are too high, the edges of the white will be rubbery or burned.

    Over easy eggs

    Over easy eggs

    For my over easy egg I use butter instead of oil and I omit salt altogether. I find that oil tends to make the edges of the egg too crispy before the rest of the egg is cooked. As before, use a heavy non stick skillet for your fresh eggs.
    For one egg use a teaspoon of butter (salted or unsalted - your choice). Melt the butter and add the egg. While the egg white is setting spoon some of the butter over the yolk to help set it. A thin white film will form. Using a wide spatula/egg lifter flip your egg, being careful that you do not break the yolk. Turn off the flames and let the heat from the skillet finish cooking the egg.
    ~~~
    Please leave your feedback after trying my techniques. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful and productive week!

    How to scramble eggs

    One of the first things we may learn to do in the kitchen is cook eggs. Many of us get it right but some don't. Some of us struggle for years in trying to make the perfect eggs but the scramble is too dry or too pebbly. Follow these tips and you will have the perfect eggs every time.


    Scrambled eggs

    4 eggs
    ¼ cup milk
    1 Tbsp butter
    A pinch of salt
    Pepper

    In a medium bowl crack the fresh eggs. Whisk until white and yolk are combined and you have a nice pale yellow color.
    On medium, melt the butter in a skillet. While the butter melts add the milk, salt and pepper. Whisk briskly with your hands for about five minutes. The egg mixture should have incorporated some air and looking quite bubbly.
    The butter should be quite hot by this so pour in the egg mixture and let set for one minute. Using your spatula push the edge of the egg towards the center of the skillet all ht while tilting the skillet so the all the moisture will dry out.
    Now turn off the flames and turn over the eggs. The heat from the skillet will continue to cook the eggs so if there was any soft parts it will now become firm. This is the time to add your cheese and other ingredients if you like.
    Tips: for firmer scrambled eggs use less milk. For less fat use water instead of milk. Use margarine instead of butter.
    Remember the longer you cook the eggs the more you kill the nutrients.

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