I like making this warm couscous salad, which works perfectly as a main dish; due to its ingredients' richness, it is hard to beat on the Nutrition Department, so make in batches, and you won't have to worry about being well nurtured for a couple of days.
How to Make a Couscous Warm Salad
Get some nice fresh vegetables like Eggplants, Bell Peppers and Onions.
Dice the veggies and bake them with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Hydrate the couscous with warm water for 5 minutes.
Cut the cherry tomatoes and pan-fry them face-down.
Roast your almonds if you have raw ones.
Chop your mint and arugula.
Then, take your veggies out of the oven and assemble them. Use a large bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients, except for the grilled tomatoes. If you are using sprouted lentils, mix them in as well.
Serve with the grilled tomatoes on top.
To make this recipe outstanding, you need to balance the number of textures in it. I am a big fan of textures; they are such an essential part of the eating experience.
Flavor and Seasoning
I recently read one of the most exciting gastronomy books I have come across lately: Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense.
I understood something that was a turning page for me: how the sense of touch affects our eating experience.
Our tongues perceive texture using the sense of touch, and it becomes part of what we end up calling flavor.
Who doesn't use words like crunchy, silky, and hard when describing their bites!
So, yes, we use a lot of textures here.
- Crunchiness: delivered by the sprouted lentils, roasted almonds, and fresh leafy greens.
- Softness: The grilled tomatoes and the oil coat all the ingredients, bringing silkiness to your bite.
- Heat: yes! How hot and spicy your food is, is something you experience with your sense of touch.
- Freshness: delivered by the mint, arugula, and also the water of the lentil's sprouts.
So, a massive amount of sensory experiences are tickle: taste, touch, smell (brought by the combination of the spices), sight as a very colorful dish, and hearing, as you can hear your bites… all contributing to your final flavor takeaway.
Let's talk about protein
As you may know, lentils are one of the best sources of protein on a plant-based diet.
If you are curious about vegan protein sources, I recommend reading this 6 mins great article on the matter. When you sprout lentils, studies have shown to enhance their amino acid profile, increasing their protein concentration, and improving the quality and availability of their vitamins and minerals, amongst other great benefits.
Note: Please refer to our two steps guide to Sprout Lentils before making this recipe.
So, we use them in different recipes, including salads, hamburgers, and soups (don't miss the Hearty and Spicy Sprouted Lentils Soup).
Sprouted lentils have an earthy taste and don't need cooking. In addition, they have a crunchy texture that goes well as an addition to several dishes.
For more Heart Warming Recipes check these out:
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Couscous Warm Salad
- Start by chopping your onion, red bell pepper, and eggplant in dice, add the crushed garlic.
- Put them in a bowl and toss the veggies with olive oil and thyme.
- Grill on a tray for 25 mins at 400ºF (200ºC).
- Hydrate the Couscous with warm water for 5 mins
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and pan fry them, face down.
- Roast your almonds if you have raw ones (which I highly recommend, given the beautiful aroma it adds to the dish).
- Chop your mint and arugula.
- Take your veggies from the oven and assemble in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients (except for the tomatoes).
- Serve with the grilled tomatoes on top.
Learn more about Sprouting Lentils and its benefits Here.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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