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Recipe of the month: Greek Pearl Couscous Salad

If you have been following my culinary exploits on Facebook or Instagram since the start of this year, chances are that you will be aware that I am heavily into salads at the moment. Believe me, no one is more surprised than me! 😛  From a self-confessed Salad non-enthusiast to someone who now looks forward to putting together new and interesting salads every week, I've been making considerable strides 😎

See, the deal with me is, on principle, I refuse to eat food that is bland and boring. So if you hand me a nondescript 'garden salad', the only reaction you will get out of me is an eye roll. A bowlful of leaves and raw veggies just doesn't cut it for me. If I eat a salad in place of a main meal, it has to be wholesome, flavourful and most importantly, keep me satiated. If eating a measly salad for lunch gets me feeling hungry again within the next 2 hours and forces me to mindlessly binge on anything I lay my eyes on, then I don't really see the point. For me a salad has to have a good balance of textures and flavours. It ought to consist of some kind of whole grain, a protein, greens, vegetables, pulses, either fresh or dried fruit, nuts, herbs, cheese and an absolute killer salad dressing. Most run-of-the-mill salads I have come across, don't check all the boxes and hence my abiding disdain for them. The only time I remember developing an affinity to salads was on a holiday to Vietnam several years ago. I was completely blown away by the unique variety that was on offer at every restaurant we went to. I was inspired by the experience but not sufficiently enough to get off my backside and do something about it. 

You know, I am all for eating healthy food but I am utterly incapable of doing so all the time. You got to live a little right? 😆  But that being said, as I've been getting older (and wiser!), I realize that I can't get away with eating absolutely everything I want to the way I used to in my 20s. Not to mention, I'm still carrying an unmentionable amount of holiday weight that I need to shed at any cost! No but on a serious note, I obviously understand the importance of eating consciously and setting a good example for my kids.

It is a known fact that salad is firmly in fashion right now. Although I had been aware of the salad culture evolving over the last decade and the emerging trend of buddha bowls, I never pretended to understand it thus far. So for this year's new year resolution, I decided to put an end to my salad bigotry once in for all. 

It has turned out to be much easier than I expected. I've been doing good so far. I really have. Every Thursday I assemble a colorful and nutritious buddha bowl for me and the husband to take to work and every Friday I pack an interesting and wholesome salad. What is more shocking to me than myself eating salad for lunch is my husband doing it as well 😂 

I won't lie to you - I put in a lot of effort into some of these healthy eating endeavors but I can honestly say that it is totally worth it. Modesty aside, whatever I've made so far has tasted pretty great and I haven't been snacking like how I thought I would. Along with regular exercise five times a week, the pounds have been slowly and steadily coming off too. I still have a long way to go in that area but I am determined to do it this time!

Okay coming back to this post, this was a salad I made recently. I had never tried pearl couscous so I was eager to try it out. The rest of the salad components are your usual salad favourites - cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, fresh mint, bell peppers, red onion, garlic, chickpeas and feta cheese. The dressing is an emulsion of Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey and seasonings. Everything came together so well that I decided I must blog this recipe before I forget how I made it. If not for anyone else's convenience but my own! 😝

Salads carry the amazing advantage of ad-lib cooking. Stock up on grains like quinoa, couscous and bulgur wheat. Make canned beans, seeds, dried fruit and nuts your kitchen staples. Get a weekly supply of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit. Have on hand extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and dijon mustard (all of which will last you a while) and Voila! You can create some really delicious salads.

Here is the recipe for this easy peasy salad. Remember to refer the notes for substitutions and tips. Here is to embracing salads you guys! I hope to bring you many more!


This post first appeared on Meinblogland, please read the originial post: here

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Recipe of the month: Greek Pearl Couscous Salad


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