Salad Giant

I’ve been away for a while – oops!  But back with some great recipes which I hope you’ll enjoy.

I’m experimenting with bulk-cooking on Sundays to prepare nutritious food for my work week.  This is in the hope I won’t resort to eating junk food and/or living off sandwiches bought at garages on the way home from work.  It’s too easy to relax in to those ways.  It’s costly, the nutrition levels can be poor, the food is usually high-fat and high-carb, and there is a paucity of vegetables and fruit.

This is the second weekend I have tried this.  From last week’s experiment I learnt:

  • I need to prepare proper, whole main meals for the evening.  It’s no good having components of meals to put together before I can eat.  I often arrive home late – beyond 8pm – and I do not feel remotely inclined at those times to mess around with making food.  I just want to ‘heat and eat’ – and I’m going to copyright that little phrase!
  • Another reason for proper meals is they are more satisfying and enjoyable than, for example, a bowl of broccoli and cauliflower with cheese grated on top.  That type of food is okay on occasions, but not as a routine form of meals.
  • A slow cooker of porridge for breakfasts is fab!  That worked really well, and I’ve done it again this weekend.  I’ll post later in the week about this, with quantities, etc.
  • There’s something about having food prepared that I really want to eat.  When I arrive home I’m tired and I want comfort, good food and something enjoyable.  So a lamb stew just would not cut it(I don’t like lamb!), neither would a flimsy salad, neither would a watery soup.  I need to prepare foods which I love, and which I will bother to heat and eat even when I’m tired.  The same goes for lunches.
  • I’m very conscious of Food Hygiene – so if I were to prepare a chicken dish, for example, I would want that eaten by Tuesday evening if I had prepared it on Sunday.  That’s vital to consider when planning.
  • Because I’m aiming for a plant-heavy dietary intake, I’m opting to make meals based on vegetables.  Last week worked well for this, and so has this week.  You’ll see!

Enough chat…time for some Giant action!  I decided to try preparing a salad with this Giant Couscous as a base:

I’ve never used it before, and the appeal was in the ‘wholemeal’ label.  It contains 7.3g fibre per 100g, whereas the ordinary variety is 5g fibre per 100g – not a great deal of difference, but every little helps.  The chunky little rounds also looked fun to go in to a salad.

Giant Couscous Salad(for 2 servings)

100g Giant Couscous

1 stock cube

Pieces of red, yellow & green pepper, diced

Large chunk cucumber, diced

8 sun-dried tomatoes(in oil), chopped

Protein to serve – I used Salad Cheese

Place the Giant Couscous and stock cube in a pan, and cover with boiling water to approx 2 inches above the couscous.  Bring to the boil, and boil for 12 minutes.  Drain the couscous in a sieve and leave to cool.

Mix in the diced vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes.  I also added 1tsp of oil from the sun-dried tomato jar, for extra flavour.  Top with your protein of choice, and enjoy!

This is the appearance of the dried Giant Couscous, before it is rehydrated:

These were leftover pieces of pepper from other dishes I was cooking.

Diced to create a bowl of jewels…Waste not, want not – even this manky chunk of cucumber went in to the mix!

Sun-dried tomatoes – not the most beautiful item, but full of flavour.Just so you can see the cooked couscous…Salad Cheese.A wonderful Giant Couscous Salad in a tub, ready for lunch tomorrow.

Notes for the Giant Couscous:

The Giant Couscous tastes ‘wholemeal’, sort of an earthy flavour.  But combined with the freshness of all those vegetables, it is great and satisfying.  I didn’t realise that couscous is actually a pasta which is cut in to teeny tiny pieces…or Giant tiny pieces!  And this version packs a whopping 12g protein per 100g – not bad at all.

The pack stated to boil for 6-8 minutes.  I tried 8 minutes – the couscous was very chewy, and I don’t mind al dente pasta.  But this was a bit beyond the grain… 😉  So I actually boiled for 12 minutes, which still retained ‘a bite’ without mushiness.  Make sure you drain the water through a sieve – you’ll lose most of the couscous through a colander!

The Salad Cheese was recommended by one of these two ladies – The Veg Space or We Don’t Eat Anything With a Face – I don’t remember which but, either way, I think they’re great Blogs to take a look at.  The cheese is out of this world!  It’s tangy and sharp – and I mean, really sharp and tangy.  It imparts so much flavour.  Which means a little goes a long way, and is very satisfying.  The label describes it as a ‘Cheshire Cheese’.

As with any salad, make it your own.  Add vegetables which you love, in the proportions you like.  Impart lots of flavour.  I can’t wait to eat this salad, which is a good sign!

What is your favourite lunch in a tub?

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