No longer are salads boring with this Healthy Greek Couscous salad! A combination of grains, feta and other vegetables means no dressing is needed- Ready in less than 10 minutes, gluten free and perfect for healthy meals throughout the week!
“You don’t make friends with salad!”
Clearly The Simpsons had it wrong when they taunted Lisa about this when she went vegetarian.
“Look, it’s Mrs.Potato head! She has a head made out of lettuce!”
“Are you going to marry a carrot, Lisa?”
Excuse me as as I giggle like a loony right now. Why are kids so mean?
You DO make friends with salad.
Well, you will if you make salads correctly.
I’ll never forget the time I backpacked around Europe and craved a salad. After days of eating pizzas, paninis and gelato throughout Rome and Venice- The thought of a salad sounded appetising and that night, I told myself ‘Arman, you’re ordering a salad’.
I went to the restaurant and saw it was 23 euros.
Pizza it was!
These prices for salads throughout most of Italy was not uncommon- In fact, most of the fast food, cafes or restaurants rarely even had salad options! When they did, you’d think for the prices they charged they would be chock full of the good stuff- Olives, cheeses and the herbs from the Pope’s private garden.
That, however, was not the case.
Lettuce. A single tomato. Olive oil. MAYBE a cucumber.
That was it.
The moral of the story here? Don’t order a salad in Italy or go with those intentions. With gelato, pizzas and pastas around- It’s borderline sinful. Clearly I didn’t make friends with them over salad- I did in other foodie ways! (Sachertorte gelato, anyone?)
My personal favourite kind of salads are actually ones which don’t contain lettuce- That to me is just a filler or waste of space. A combination of grains, cheese and antipasto = we can be friends. BEST friends.
I mentioned in this post how I had two recipes done which reminded me of Jenn and Meghan and this is number two. Veggies, Grains and Cheese. More words associated with these two and ones which I praise wholeheartedly.
This Healthy Greek Couscous Salad is embracing my current favourite grain/carb/edible source of food. While it looks fancy and pretty and chock full of goodness, it is so simple to whip up and perfect for food prep and easy meals throughout the week. It’s perfectly customisable to use as a base and add whatever your favourite salad additions are. I used a classic combination of Greek flavours for a delicious, flavourful (and nutrient dense!) salad which is anything BUT boring.
For this version, I used diced roma tomatoes and Persian cucumbers before adding some of the ‘fun’ ingredients to it- Greek feta cheese and sun dried olives. Traditional Greek salads can clock in at over 800 calories, due to the heavy handed olive oil dressings. While there is nothing wrong with olive oil or dressings, I’d rather have a flavourful base and go heavy on other ingredients.
Make this Healthy Greek couscous salad and start being the most popular kid in school..err chef in the kitchen.
You don’t make friends with salad? Oh shut up, Potato head.
- 1 1/2 cups dry couscous (can use gluten free)
- 3 cups chicken or flavoured stock of choice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- pinch marjoram
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 large roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1/2- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup olives/semi dried olives/sun dried tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar for topping (optional)
- In a large pot, add the stock of choice and on medium heat, bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the olive oil and sea salt and mix well. Add the dry couscous and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat. Allow the couscous to sit for 5-6 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- After the liquid has been absorbed, fluff the couscous with a fork and add the dried basil, dill, garlic powder and marjoram and mix very well. Stir through the olive oil until the couscous is coated.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, feta and olives (and any other additions) and mix well until fully incorporated. Top with extra feta and drizzle with balsamic and olive oil.
- This can be made in advance and prepped when ready to serve. Simply pre cook the couscous and have the vegetables chopped and once ready to eat, simply mix through together.
- This salad can be eaten warm or cold and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days (without mixing feta through).
What is your key ingredient in a salad? Don’t say lettuce.
Have you ever seen that Simpsons episode? Don’t say lettuce.
Would you order a salad in Italy?