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.
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.
This dish is a twist on Derval O’Rourke’s version. The sauce also works great as a gratin base to make a healthy cauliflower cheese type dish. Serve it alongside a green leafy salad, steamed vegetables or a baked sweet potato. The recipe includes the weight of cooked quinoa, just half this weight to get the uncooked equivalent.
Serves 4-6 depending on hunger levels.
- 300g cooked and cooled quinoa
- 4 chicken breasts
- 300g broccoli florets
- 200g cauliflower florets
- 300g yoghurt (natural or Greek)
- 100g creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of flaked almonds
- Gently steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets until tender and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing together the yoghurt, creme fraiche, mustard, flour, curry powder, spices and lemon juice.
- Evenly spread the cooled quinoa over the base of a large oven-proof dish.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and gently brown in a frying pan with a little coconut oil.
- Place the browned chicken pieces in a large saucepan, add the broccoli and cauliflower and mix through the sauce until everything is well coated.
- Spoon the chicken and vegetable mix over the quinoa. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake in an oven at 180°C for 30-40 mins until it begins to brown.