Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Greek Couscous Salad

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Mom out there who "forgets" to eat lunch on a regular basis.  Sometimes I do really forget, I'm just too busy doing other things and by the time I notice I'm starving it's 3:00 and I figure I'll make it to dinner.  Sometimes, though, I'm just too lazy to make myself lunch.  After making, feeding, and cleaning up after two kids' meals twice in the day already, sometimes I just want to sit on the couch for a few minutes and breathe.  (God Bless Naptime)

So in order to combat starvation-by-laziness, I like to make up a lunch I can keep in the refrigerator for the whole week.  Usually it is some type of salad I can eat cold, no further preparation involved.  I really like to make pasta salads but recently a friend sent me a recipe for a couscous salad that is pretty great.  This salad is nice and light but filling too.  The lemon vinaigrette and chopped kalamata olives really give it a bright fresh taste. So to all the busy Moms....this one's for you.

Greek Couscous Salad, adapted from MyPanera
2 Tablespoons pistachios
1 3/4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
10 ounces couscous
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/4 chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

To begin, put the pistachios in a dry pan over medium heat and toast them until they are golden brown, shake the pan often to keep them from burning.  They will toast in just a few minutes so don't walk away! Set them aside when done.

Now bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Once it boils, stir in the couscous, cover and remove the pan from heat.  Let the couscous sit while you chop those veggies.  Once the veggies are chopped, put them and the couscous and cheese into a large bowl and stir to combine.

Lastly, make the vinaigrette in a small bowl. Put in the lemon juice, salt and pepper first, then slowly whisk in the oil.  Once all are combined pour the dressing over the salad and stir it to combine.

You can eat this salad right away or refrigerate it for about 4 days.

**PS. Sorry for the lack of photos these last two days, I am having some technical difficulties with Picassa.  I am much better with a wooden spoon than I am with a computer. ;)

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