Sunday, 15 September 2013

Katie's Cous Cous Salad

One of my fellow bloggers, Anna at Pink Pom Poms  blogged a few months back about the difficulty of eating healthy, tasty lunches at work, and the temptations of canteens and high street offerings. Not only can you waste a LOT of money constantly buying lunch when at work, but chances are you're also not eating as healthily as you could be. I'm a big fan of packed lunches - but only if they're interesting and tasty - and not too much effort to prepare the night before. But I'm not a great fan of sandwiches - at least, not every single day. So I thought I'd blog about a nice cous cous salad I made today. In addition, I noticed that Lisa, over at Lisa's Kitchen, is running a competition for veggie salads featuring mushrooms - which my cous cous salad does - so I figured now is a good time to post this and enter the competition at the same time. For more information on this competition or great recipe ideas from Lisa, click here.

I love a good cous cous salad, and have a couple that I like, but today's was a new experiment that went well! I had it for lunch with a mixed salad (lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, mozzarella and beetroot) and my homemade pink coleslaw (more about that later - very easy, and pretty too!). I have boxed up a bit of each 'component' of my salad for lunch tomorrow and the day after, and I still have a decent-sized portion of the cous cous salad left (perhaps to have with dinner one day, or if I make up some more mixed salad, it'll do me for another day's packed lunch). So you can see, this is a great way of taking the hard work out of preparing a packed lunch. I should really have timed myself better, but I would say that altogether this took me under half an hour to prepare.

It was absolutely delicious - the sultanas gave a nice juicy burst of flavour and the toasted almonds gave  a nice crunch. And I just love the taste of roasted mushrooms in any dish. It was also good in that it filled me up nicely but not so much that I felt stuffed, so you won't require a siesta after this one! I would also happily have this as an accompaniment to a larger dinner, so it really is versatile. All in all, a winner!

1 medium leek
1 medium courgette
80g baby button mushrooms
1/2 yellow pepper
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
black pepper, to taste
200g cous cous
70g sultanas
250ml vegetable stock
30g almond slivers

Pre-heat the oven to 200ÂșC. Finely chop the leek, courgette, mushrooms (I quarter these) and pepper; place these in a roasting tin. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice, and add a little black pepper - sprinkle over the vegetables. Mix well and put in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the cous cous and sultanas in a heat-proof bowl and pour the stock over. Leave for the cous cous to absorb all of the stock. Now, gently toast the almonds by dry frying them (i.e. don't use any oil in the pan). Once the vegetables are cooked and the cous cous has absorbed all of the stock, mix the vegetables and almonds into the cous cous mixture. The cous cous salad is now ready to serve, or if preferred, you can leave to chill before serving - both will be delicious.

Two lunch boxes full of delicious salad
 And as for that pink coleslaw? Yes, that's the little bit of pink you can see in the pictures above (but I've put a better picture below, too). Well, it's really simple - I just grated half a carrot and half a cooked beetroot into a bowl and added a couple of tablespoons of light mayonnaise. Mix together, and you have pink coleslaw! Because there's no cabbage in this coleslaw, it isn't tangy like real coleslaw - in fact, it has a lovely smooth taste - but the carrot still gives it a bit of bite.

 Let me know what your verdict is, if you make my cous cous salad or pink coleslaw. I'd also love to hear any other great packed lunch ideas, if you have some?


  1. This looks lovely. Will need to try it. Just happens I have beetroot in the fridge.x

  2. Thanks for this entry to NCR. I'm sure it was a perfect lunch.

  3. Pink Pom Poms - let me know when you have tried it - hope you enjoy it as much as I have been doing for the past couple of days!

    Lisa - thanks for taking a look at my entry. It really is a tasty lunch :-)


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