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Friday, April 29, 2011

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Before we get started today, I need to jump on the royal wedding bandwagon. I've actually always been on the royal wedding bandwagon.  In 1981, my mother and I watched Charles and Diana's wedding together.  I was too young to remember watching, but I do remember that dress.  I visited St. Paul's Cathedral when I went to England at age 15, and hoped I'd run into William around London and he might decide that I'd make a good princess.  If it wasn't going to be me, Kate makes an excellent choice.  I confess that I haven't seen all the coverage yet today (although of course I DVR'd it), however, my first impression is that she looked lovely and they seem very happy.  It has been reported to me that they had the same hymn at their wedding as we did at ours, and also my mother said Kate didn't look as beautiful as I did on my wedding day, but mothers are supposed to say things like that.

I should have made scones.  Instead I made couscous.

This salad was born out of a realization that I had nothing ready for dinner.  It's a very simple chopped salad that comes together in about 5 minutes.  It has all the characteristics of a great meal salad, vegetables, protein, grains, and healthy fat to keep you full, give you energy, and make your skin look good.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked Israeli couscous (sometimes called pearl couscous)
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
1 handful baby spinach leaves
1/4-1/3 cup lemon tahini dressing

Lemon Tahini Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup tahini
kosher salt
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Blend lemon juice, tahini, salt and garlic together in food processor or blender.  Add olive oil until dressing reaches desired consistency.

Some days you need all the food processors.

Cook couscous according to package directions.  I boiled for 6 minutes until tender, and then drained.  Of course, you can use any grain you like here. Or, in my case, any grain you have a random amount of in your pantry.
Chop remaining ingredients and combine in a bowl.
When couscous is cooked, add to the bowl and top with dressing.
Mix well.
Serves 2 for main course.

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