Cous cous salad you’ll never grow bored with

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Well some of you know that I’m back at Slimming World now – I’m on week 11 and doing good so far.  I’ve lost 1 st, 5 lb.  I went on a go slow there for a few weeks but between finishing bf-ing my little bubba (sobbing!!!) and a course of antibiotics, I think my body was saying “hold on, let me catch a break!”  Anyway enough with the excuses – I’m back on track.  I’ve lost the weight gain from baby no.3 and I’m now into the weight gain from baby no. 2! lol

I’ve been busy planning my food for the week ahead and realised I’m getting bored with the same foods all the time.  It’s all tasty food – don’t get me wrong, but when you’re eating it every week or other week you don’t be long getting sick of it.  So this week I’m making an effort to come up with some new recipes.

I am really getting into the vibe of eating healthy, “real” food.  I have eaten highly processed and junk food since as long as I can remember but it was always extra.  I ate my “real food” meals and then topped up with junk.  I’ve been doing so much research lately on the food we eat, and I know everything I read is not gospel and it’s important to look out for websites where the organisation has an agenda, but when you really look into whats in your food it can get pretty scary. Since I’ve started growing some of my own vegetables last year it has really made me think about where my food is coming from and seasonality etc.

The following recipe is a kind of warm salad.  I think its a good one for spring, when its still cold outside but there is a promise of the warmth (warm rain in Ireland!) yet to come.  It is really versatile.  I’ve made it with giant cous cous because that’s what I wanted to use up from the cupboard today but you can use any type of grain or legume you wish. I’ve listed some examples.

  • Dried mixed beans, soaked overnight and cooked according to packet instructions
  • Dried chickpeas
  • Red lentils – these cook really quickly, roughly the same time as the cous cous would take
  • Yellow split peas, soaked overnight and cooked according to packet instructions
  • Rice – wholegrain, basmati, wild rice
  • Quinoa – cooked according to packet instructions
  • Bulghur Wheat
  • Canned beans, chickpeas or lentils – when you need a quicker option.
  • Orzo, noodles, regular cous cous or any type of pasta

Today I’ve used apple cider vinegar – I use the cloudy one that hasn’t been distilled as it retains more goodness.  I have read so much about the added health benefits of apple cider vinegar and so i try to use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar because I cannot stomach it to take it straight from a spoon.  (Uughh!)  You can also use red or white wine vinegar, a good aged balsamic vinegar, tarragon vinegar, champagne vinegar, probably even plain old malt or distilled white vinegar would be fine.  So basically any old vinegar you have in the cupboard!

Even the vegetables that I’ve used can be changed around to suit what is in season.  I used what i like and what I had in the fridge.  Lets face it – its March, the lean month for most gardeners and I live in Ireland, where this week the sun was splitting the stones,  then we had torrential rain and today some parts of the country are covered in snow – not much hope of having lovely homegrown produce this month.  So I had peppers and onions in the fridge and some leftover sweetcorn and spring onions and on-the-vine cherry tomatoes bought from the supermarket and imported from god knows where, hence why they cost a fortune!  Roll on June when I hope to be harvesting my own cherry tomatoes.

The Recipe……

Ingredients

100g giant cous cous
½ red and ½ green pepper
½ red onion
3 Spring Onions
4 Cherry Tomatoes
50g Sweetcorn
2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. fresh finely chopped mint
2 tsp. fresh finely chopped Basil
2 tsp. frest finely chopped Coriander
1 tsp. Stevia or other sweetener of your choice (honey, sugar or maple syrup can be used)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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  1. Cook the cous cous according to the packet instructions.
  2. Finely chop the peppers and onion into small dice.
  3. Put them into a saute pan with a little low calorie spray or a little olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and cook gently.
  4. When they’re slightly softened, add in the quartered cherry tomatoes.
  5. Drain the cous cous and run the cold tap on it for a few seconds to cool it a little.  Add in the sauteed vegetables.
  6. Next add in the chopped spring onion, sweetcorn, vinegar, herbs and sweetener.
  7. Check the flavour and add more salt and black pepper if necessary.

I used half of this recipe, and added mixed lettuce leaves and more fresh tomatoes for the perfect lunch.  You could add grilled chicken or salmon for an even more satisfying dish.  That is exactly what I plan for the other half in the next day or so!!  Enjoy…..

The Irish Mammy

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