with cilantro, cucumber, and toasted pinons
I couldn’t stop eating this salad. It was one of those find-things-in-your-fridge-and-toss-them-together kind of meals … but once I got it all together, I could not believe how good it tasted.
I was telling my yoga friend about this salad and she asked how it is that I have all these strange things “on hand” in my kitchen … I think what I do is I just collect interesting ingredients and let them flow together. Oh, yes, there are times when I buy things specifically to make a particular dish, but it quite often doesn’t work out that way. Life gets in the way. My plans get thrown out the window. I have learned along the way that plans are only a point of departure, and you have to be ready at any point in life to make new ones. I find myself doing a lot of that.
In any case, this was a very happy accident.
Black Bean, Feta and Avocado Couscous Citrus Salad
with Cilantro, Cucumber, and Toasted Pine Nuts
If you haven’t got any kumquats, you could try substituting other citrus fruits.
- 2/3 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
- 1/2 of a large cucumber, sliced and cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup cooked black beans
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
- Roughly 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 2 kumquats (about 2 inches in diameter, add more to taste depending on how large your kumquats are), sliced thin and chopped (reserving a few slices for garnish)
- About 2 cups of green leaf or romaine lettuce, chopped fine
- About 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
- About 1/3 cup of toasted pinon nuts
- 1/2 of an avocado, peeled, pitted, chopped
- Prepare the uncooked couscous according to the package directions and make the dressing.
- In a medium bowl, toss everything but the avocado until mixed.
- Toss the avocado in the dressing to coat (the kumquat juice in the dressing will help the avocado from turning brown), then toss the avocado and the dressing into the salad and stir gently to combine.
- Garnish the top of the salad with extra feta crumbles, slices of kumquat, cilantro leaves and a few pinons.
- 2 Tablespoons of kumquat juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
I don’t know if you noticed but I was away from my kitchen last week, travelling in California. The company I work for lives out in California … everyone else who works for this company lives in California. Most of them come into the office every day. I am the lone midwestern employee, working remotely. They give me a lot of crap about the weather. My boss loves to call and tell me when he’s wearing shorts in sunny 70 degree weather and we are up to our armpits in snow. It’s all in good fun. My son and I called them all wimps when we were visiting last week and they were shivering in their jackets while we were reveling in what (to us) was lovely weather.
We got home late Sunday night, so there was no time for grocery shopping, and work began early Monday morning, so I wondered what on earth I was going to eat. But I was in luck. My parents were here to stay with my daughter for the weekend and they left me a big, beautiful tub of organic herb salad mix.
So all I needed to do was find something to go with it. I scrounged up some frozen (natural) chicken nuggets, feta, pinons, tomatoes, onion and pulled out one of my homemade dressings and haha! I had a lovely lunch.
Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons and Oriental Vinaigrette
- Organic herb salad mix
- Chicken nuggets, cooked and cut into small pieces (I used 4 for my salad)
- Pinon nuts, toasted
- Feta cheese crumbles
- Chopped tomato
- Sliced onion
- Fill the salad bowl most of the way with herb salad mix.
- Top with remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 T. honey
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- About 10 drops of sesame oil
- 1 T. canola oil
- 1 T. fish sauce
- 1 T. chinese mustard
Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.