Lemon zest + Veggies + Israeli Cous Cous = Healthy & delicious!
Mmm Mmm- nothing cools me down more than this chilled couscous salad. If you're living in NY and soaking us this bea-utiful Spring day, you are most likely craving something that will make your taste buds feel like Summer. As a perfect NY lunchtime example when the weather warms up: This is the time of year when people jump from the Soup line at 'Hale & Hearty', over to the salad line, and that line gets HUGE. BUT if you are anything like me and a tossed leafy salad just doesn't fill you up, try making a jazzier version, at home! Your belly will thank you, and so will your wallet ;)
This cool salad is the perfect transition between a Springtime simple lunch (but fulfilling), to a Summertime BBQ Pasta salad! I usually make this when 1.) I haven't went grocery shopping so I throw together whatever I can find, 2.) Feeling too lazy to make a big meal, or 3.) Need a healthy & cleansing Dinner from all of the snacks I ate throughout the day (the 3rd one is most accurate). Oh! And this salad is also full of Iron from the black beans, and you even get some protein from the almonds, so it's totally guilt free.
So get ready to *zap* your mouth with this homemade citrus-y dressing, coated so evenly perfect across all your veggies, and some pearled mini noodles. And don't be afraid to add in as many more veggies as ya want- can only make it better!
Enjoy! xx S.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1 cup of Israeli (pearled) Couscous
- 1/2 red onion, sliced/diced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced & zested
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1 cup of corn- fresh or frozen
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
- Small bunch of fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp of Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp of Thyme!
- Handful of Sliced Almonds
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
PREPARE: Gather onion, cucumber & basil. Dice all and set aside. Then, over medium high heat in a small frying pan, spray with cooking oil and let heat up. Once hot, add corn and cook while occasionally tossing to prevent from burning/sticking. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until corn is grilled perfectly and totally browned! Add all diced veggies & corn to a large mixing bow. Set aside.
DRESSING!: In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of Olive oil, half a lemon juiced, thyme (more or less depending on how much you like it!), Dijon Mustard and Salt & Pepper. Whisk well until combine and set aside.
COOKIN: In a small pot over high heat, bring water to boil and add couscous. Cook accordingly to instructions, and strain water once complete. DO NOT rinse with cool water- instead, dump cooked couscous to the large mixing bowl with veggies. Toss with a littttle olive oil to prevent clumping. Then, in a separate small frying pan over medium high heat, toss sliced almonds and cook for about 5 minutes until golden (PS- the roasted almonds REALLY make a difference. omgsh. s'good).
COMBINE: NOW add almonds to the mixing bowl filled with your almost done couscous concoction, and toss well to combine. Next, pour your dressing while tossing well, so all veggies and couscous are coated evenly. It is SO important to add a little dressing at a time so the dressing won't be too overwhelming for your taste buds! Taste and adjust- add a little lemon zest to coat well and make the flavor POP. Serve and squeeze another spritz of lemon juice, and there ya have it. The most simple, healthy & refreshing couscous salad!
*Note: This salad is AMAZING with a little goat cheese or feta crumbles, but I wanted to keep it extra light and vegan this time around. It really depends on what you're in the mood for! Also, this is just as good served warm/hot, as it is cold. And if you like almonds and you aren't allergic, do NOT skip out on them. It truly makes the meal! Can you tell I love roasted Almonds? I've mentioned this twice already... :)