Friday, January 2, 2015

Quick and Easy Couscous Salad

So everyone wants to start the New Year off eating healthy.  For me, that usually lasts about 2 weeks.  It's just not in my genetic makeup to eat like a rabbit every day.  I like gut busting rich meals.  Unfortunately for me, that is one of the many reasons I weigh a metric ton, but I digress.

Don't get me wrong, I eat healthy on occasion.  It's not like I do it on purpose though.  I just love good food, and sometimes that is eating a delicious piece of grilled chicken over a bed of greens, or maybe even a piece of baked fish over some brown rice.  It's really what I'm in the mood for honestly.

What I do favor, however, is homemade.  I especially favor homemade, quick AND inexpensive.  I have a family of six I feed, and ALL of us are big eaters.  I won't even go into how expensive my food bill is each week.  That reminds me......I should probably see what's on sale this week.  Anyway......

In my quest for quick, easy, inexpensive and homemade with an occasional healthy flair, I came up with this little gem years ago when I was a struggling budget crazy single mom.  I needed something that I could take to lunch for a few days that would keep nice and wouldn't kill my purse.

Couscous was all the rage a few years back.  It was "new" so to speak, to the average household cook.  It seemed pretty exotic at the time too.  I remember the first time my grandfather brought home a box of Far East Roasted Garlic Couscous in the late 90's.  We thought we were the cat's pajamas eating something so international.  Makes me giggle to think about it......

Now, you can find it pretty much anywhere.  For this recipe I actually used a no-name brand that was on sale at Target.  The only thing that differs is the way you decide to make it your own.

Here's one of my ways......Enjoy!!

Quick and Easy Couscous Salad



Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes
Total Time:  15 minutes
Yield:  About 3 cups prepared



Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup water
1 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup couscous
1 TBSP finely minced onion
1/4 bell pepper, finely minced
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 cucumber, skin removed, seeded and finely chopped
2 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
scallions for garnish



Method:

In a medium saucepot, bring water and 1 TBSP of olive oil to a boil.

Add in 1 cup of couscous and cover tightly for at least 5 minutes.



While the couscous is absorbing the liquid, mince onion, mince the bell pepper and seed and chop the cucumber and tomato.  Set aside.



Your couscous should be ready at this time.  Remove lid and fluff gently with a fork.



Add in the onion, bell pepper, zest and juice of a lemon and 2 tsp of salt.  Mix gently with a fork and allow to cool while you prepare the vinaigrette.



In a small bowl whisk together 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and apple cider vinegar.

Add tomato and cucumber to cooled couscous.  Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the couscous and fluff again with a fork.

Garnish with a few chopped scallions and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!!



Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”. 

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below.  

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