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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- In a bowl combine cooled lentils, cooled couscous, chickpeas (optional), raisins and cucumbers.
- 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.
- Arrange orange pegs and mint leaves on top.
- Serve in individual bowls by drizzling yogurt dressing on top.
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.
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.
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
- whole grains
- protein from legumes