Green Veggie Wholegrain Couscous Salad
This salad is my new best friend. Sorry, lifelong childhood bestie, you have been usurped! I have been entertaining a ton this month as June always houses my husband’s and my daughter’s birthdays, as well as Father’s Day. So Casa Wright has been hosting lots of lunches, teas and dinners; and this is my new go-to salad. It is not only absolutely delicious, but is totally perfect for entertaining because it can all be prepped the day before and simply just assembled on the day with minimal fuss and no washing up. I am a big believer in doing as much as possible in the days leading up to entertaining, to minimize any stresses on the day, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine whilst sipping a Pimms (or four!).
This tasty salad is also a great batch cooking option, as it lasts for a few days in the fridge and is good to take along to picnics or even lunch at your desk. The particular vegetables I have used in this recipe can either be a vibrant green colour with the perfect amount of crunch to them; or sad ‘n soggy. Fortunately, it is super quick and easy to ensure that these veggies stay their best selves and the secret is by blanching them.
As much as I love doing double or triple batches of roasted vegetables in the wintertime, now that the weather has finally warmed up, I much prefer to blanch my veggies as they are the lighter summery-er option. Plus, it is much quicker than roasting and doesn’t require any additional fats, like oil, to be added. If you aren’t familiar with the technique then don’t be wary – it is ridiculously simple! You cook the vegetables by briefly boiling them and then (once they have reached the perfect level of crunch) plunging them into ice-cold water to abruptly stop the cooking process. And that’s it – job done!
The veggie-laden wholegrain salad has the perfect mix of textures and flavours, as well as a great nutritional profile too. One portion provides 349 calories, 17g of plant-based protein and a massive 11g of fibre. Not to mention a ton of immune-boosting antioxidant micronutrients from all of the green vegetables.
· 80g Tenderstem Broccoli
· 80g Asparagus Tips
· 80g Snap Peas
· 80g Green Beans
· 100g Giant Wholewheat Couscous (I used Merchant Gourmet)
· 6 x Black Garlic Cloves
· 125g Tinned Beans of Choice – I used Lupin Beans
· 6 x Spring Onions
· Handful of Crunchy Chickpeas or Mixed Seeds
· Lemon Zest
· Freshly Chopped Chives and Dill
· Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar (I used Belazu)
· In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the vegetables for 2-4 minutes (until they are just tender but still al dente).
· Drain and immediately plunge them into ice-cold water.
· Drain again and pat dry with some kitchen roll. Set aside.
· Boil the couscous as per the instructions on the packet (for approx 8 minutes).
· Drain and rinse with cold water.
· Finely chop the spring onions and the herbs.
· Drain and rinse the beans.
· Assemble the salad, top with black garlic, seeds and a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar
Calories – 349
Protein – 17g
Fat – 3g
Carbohydrates – 59g
Fibre – 11g
Vitamin C – 47%
Vitamin A – 31%
Calcium – 19%
Iron – 8%