When I’m doing my weekly meal planning, I always try to plan a lunch that I can make on Sunday and bring to work for the whole week. It makes getting ready for work throughout the week so much easier, and I feel better because rather than grabbing at odds and ends, I have something healthy already made. Because I’m just making lunch for myself, and not Ron too, I get the opportunity to cook something without the constraints his tastes put onto our dinners- i.e. I get to use all those vegetables he doesn’t like, and I don’t have to worry about having meat in the meal. I usually try to make something vegetarian, and something that is fairly healthy, as I feel like breakfast and lunch are my best opportunities to sneak a lot of nutrition in.
This couscous salad fit the bill perfectly. It does have pasta in it (the couscous of course), but it is loaded with veggies, and has a very light dressing of just lemon juice and salt and pepper, which make this a very light and health-filled lunch. Artichokes are my favorite vegetable (I used to request them at my birthday dinner every year), and the artichoke hearts combined with the awesome roasted asparagus and baby spinach really satisfied my craving for vegetables. This salad is also extremely easy to put together… you just cook the couscous, roast the asparagus, chop up some artichoke hearts, and toss everything together. Very easy to put together on a Sunday night!
Israeli Couscous Salad with Roasted Asparagus, Artichokes and Spinach
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry Israeli Couscous
1 lb asparagus spears
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons, divided
1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained and chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Bring the water up to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add a big pinch of salt, and the couscous. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 10-13 minutes, until the couscous is tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the asparagus on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top. Roast until the asparagus is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a bit, and then cut into 1-inch pieces.
3. Add the couscous, asparagus, artichokes, and baby spinach to a large bowl. Squeeze the remaining 1 1/2 lemons over the salad, and season with salt a pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod