Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quick & Healthy Couscous Salad

I keep finding myself coming back to this Bell Pepper and Mozarella Couscous recipe from the July 2004 issue of Cooking Light. It's super-fast -- it takes me about 20 minutes for prep, cooking and clean-up -- and it's delicious. The combination of all of the bold flavors (roasted peppers, basil, kalamata olives, balsamic vinegar) is a nice complement to grilled chicken -- and it's a satisfying lunch on its own. I usually multiply the recipe by 5, add about 6 oz of garbanzo beans for extra protein and flavor, and then we use it for lunches and dinners throughout the week. I think it tastes best at room temperature.

1/2 c water
1/3 c uncooked couscous
1/8 ts salt
1/4 c chopped bottled roasted bell peppers
1/4 c canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
1/4 c (1 oz) fresh mozarella
1 tb chopped fresh basil
1 tb balsamic vinegar
1 tb extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 ts freshly ground black pepper
2 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; gradually stir in couscous and salt. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Add bell peppers and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine. Cover and chill.

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