Couscous is a perfect option for batch cooking. Cooking in batches at the start of the week or over the weekend is the secret to maintaining a healthy diet or working towards a nutrition goal.
As it is officially summer at home in Ireland, it’s time for salads. Adding some grains to your salad is an easy way to bulk up your lunchbox at work. I have used giant or Israeli couscous here but regular couscous, bulgur wheat, rice or quinoa would be perfect replacements.
Serves 4 as a side.
- 200g couscous grain
- 400ml boiling hot water
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 dried apricots, diced
- 2 tbsp raisins
- Mix the couscous with the water in a bowl or saucepan. Cover and allow the grain to absorb all the water or cook the grain as per packet instructions.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Taste and if you prefer a stronger curry flavour just add some more.
Fuss-free dishes are my favourites; roasting vegetables is one of the easiest things to quickly add bucket loads of flavour and produce tender, melt in your mouth grub in no time!
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 tsp vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 large handfuls kale, de-stalked
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- Preheat an oven to 180C.
- Halve the pumpkin and spoon out the seeds. Slice the pumpkin into half moon shaped wedges.
- Wash the seeds in a fine sieve, place in a separate roasting tray and roast in the oven until crisp.
- Stir the honey, oil and cinnamon together in the bottom of a roasting tray before adding the pumpkin.
- Roast in the oven for 20mins.
- Whilst the pumpkin is roasting cook the bulgur wheat: place the bulgur, water and stock in a saucepan, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer on the lowest heat until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
- Roughly tear the kale with your hands and massage in the salt.
- To serve: mix the kale and bulgur wheat together in a serving dish, add the roasted pumpkin on top and scatter over the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds.
This salad is perfect for your lunchbox, a quick lunch or dinner served with some salmon, shredded chicken or simply on its own. It’s great for using up any leftover roasted veg too. The tahini dressing also works great instead of mayonnaise in coleslaw.
- 100g quinoa/bulgur wheat
- 500ml water
- 1 pre-cooked beetroot
- 2 small carrots
- 1/2 small sweet potato
- 2 tbsp pumpkin/sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1/3 cucumber
- 1 spring onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 tsp tahini
- 1 tsp dried coriander
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cottage cheese
- 4 tbsp water
- Rinse the quinoa & bulgur in a fine sieve whilst you bring the 500ml water to the boil. Once the water begins to boil, add the rinsed grains, place the lid on the saucepan, reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed about 20mins. Take off the heat, remove the lid and allow to cool.
- Preheat an oven to 200C. Melt 2 tsp coconut oil in a roasting tray. Peel the carrots and sweet potato and cut into cubes with the beetroot. Mix the veg thoroughly with the coconut oil and roast in the oven for 20 mins. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
- Place the seeds & cranberries into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Strain just before adding to the salad.
- Finely slice the spring onions. Slice the celery stalks into rounds. Slice the cucumber in half and remove the soft centre before cutting into rounds.
- For the dressing: stir all the ingredients together until they are smooth.
- To assemble: place the cooled quinoa & bulgur into a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients and dressing. Stir to combine.