I first started reading food and cooking blogs around four years ago. I loved the words, the photography, the recipes. The first blog that I really started to follow was 101 cookbooks. I love the way Heidi put ideas together to come up with unique wholesome dishes. Most of you have probably heard of and seen Heidi’s site, however the next site I fell in love with was a lesser know site called Veggie Num Num. Similarly to 101 cookbooks, I also admired the way Trudy would put her spin on traditional dishes, and I found her recipes easy to follow and always produced amazing results.
I think I have probably made no less than 15 recipes off her site, which have all turned out beautifully. The one that I always go back to is a simple recipe for couscous salad. I have been making this dish for a while now, and have adapted it slightly over the years to make it a little simpler and quicker to prepare midweek (by cooking the couscous with the spices and flavorings, rather than making a separate stock). Not only does it come together quickly to make a great dish to whip up for a quick meal after work, its also great to make ahead on the weekend and pack in work and school lunches during the week. You can serve it as is, although I normally like to add in some protein – a scoop of hummus, some falafel, a can of tuna or beans. Im yet to put my baked falafel recipe up here, but in the meantime, I have tried and tested the falafel recipes at both 101 cookbooks and Veggie num num and can recommend them both.
Moroccan spiced couscous salad
Adapted from Veggie num num
1 Tbsp each fresh parsley and coriander, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
2½ cups vegetable stock
2 strips lemon rind
½ a cinnamon quill
2 cups Israeli (Pearl) Couscous
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
Extra parsley and feta to serve
To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a small bowl or jar and stir to combine.
To make the couscous, heat the stock, lemon rind and cinnamon quill in a pot and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Add couscous and cook 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through 1 Tbsp of the prepared dressing, leave to cool.
To assemble the salad, combine vegetables in a large bowl, add the feta and the cooled couscous and combine. Mix through the dressing, and serve topped with extra parsley and feta.