Saturday, September 19, 2015

Israeli Couscous, Chicken, and Feta Salad

Another salad! And this one is substantial enough to be a whole meal, boasting not one but two protein sources, along with a mix of raw and cooked vegetables. Make it in the morning, so when dinnertime rolls around you'll have nothing to do but pour some wine and eat, instead of slaving away in the kitchen!

Israeli Couscous with Chicken and Feta
~ 1.5 cups Israeli couscous
~ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~ 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
~ 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, oregano, basil, lemon zest
~ Fresh black pepper to taste
~ 1 package vegan chicken, cut into 1" pieces (I used Beyond Meat)
~ 1 red bell pepper, diced
~ 1 small cucumber, seeded and cut into quarter-moons
~ 1 14 oz. can marinated artichoke hearts, drained
~ 2 cups asparagus spears, lightly steamed
~ 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, lightly steamed
~ 2 cups tofu feta
~ 1 cup chopped, fresh parsley

~ Prepare the couscous according to package directions (this should be 1.5 cups couscous to 3 cups water for 10-12 minutes, but this can vary). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
~ In a skillet, cook the leeks and garlic over medium heat about 7-10 minutes, until quite soft. Raise the heat to high, add the dry seasonings, lemon zest, and chicken pieces, and cook 5-7 minutes more, until the chicken starts to brown just a bit. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
~ When the couscous has cooled, gently stir in the cooked leeks/chicken and all the remaining ingredients, finishing with the fresh parsley.
~ This dish is equally good eaten chilled or at room temperature, but it does get better as it sits, so it's worth making it a few hours (or even a day) before serving. It's especially good on top of a big pile of fresh salad greens with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

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