Balsamic-Honey Couscous Salad

couscous saladSo, last Monday, January 10th, I began training for my second marathon. I’m running the Cleveland Marathon on May 15th [eeeek!]. I ran my first marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig, in May 2008 with a time of 4:07:27. While it was a great experience, I definitely have room for improvement. Over winter break, I worked hard on putting together a training schedule that would work with my schedule and provide me with challenging workouts so that I can run my best in May. I also made a few nutritional goals to help power me through to a great race.

  1. Cut out soda during my training week. My training schedule has me working out Monday-Saturday. I love Diet Coke and though I am not a huge soda drinker [usually I will drink a can 4-5 times/week], I know it’s not good for me. It’s easy for me to replace water with soda and to ensure that I drink enough water everyday, I decided to cut out soda during the week. After my long run on Saturdays [and on Sundays] I can drink some soda–provided I get enough water first! I used to do this during cross country and track seasons in high school and college and found it helpful.
  2. Eat protein at lunch. It can be really easy for me to just eat a lot of carbs for lunch [pasta or a bagel, anyone?] or to just eat a lot of side dishes. Consequently, I have resolved to make one special lunch entree each week that contains protein. So far, I have enjoyed new varieties of tuna and egg salad that I hope to post soon!
  3. Eat more veggies. I love eating fruit and I like eating veggies. But it’s easy for me to eat a lot of fruit because it’s sweet–I’ll even eat it as dessert sometimes. Veggies though? Not so much. You can only eat so many raw carrots. So I’ve decided to make our Mondays meatless! Yes, I know I’m jumping on the meatless Monday bandwagon pretty late, but eating a meatless meal one day per week is a) not that hard; b) forcing me to be a bit more creative; and c) pretty tasty. Here’s the latest!

bowl of couscousThis Balsamic-Honey Couscous Salad is a great main dish for a lighter weeknight meal or a quick side dish that is nice enough for company. I love how bright and flavorful it turned out. The dressing definitely makes the salad go from bland to a-m-azing! Although I used broccoli and a pepper/onion mix, any vegetables could really be used, so pick and choose amongst your favorites. Tofu is a suggested addition to this salad and really does make it very filling; even my meat-lover of a husband agreed with that! Enjoy!

Balsamic-Honey Couscous Salad [a Pajama Chef original]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat coucous
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped peppers and onions [or fresh--all the peppers at the store looked blah so I used frozen]
  • 1 pound tofu, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions:

If desired, begin by cooking the tofu. I like using Emily’s method at the Daily Garnish. Then, steam the broccoli and peppers/onion mix over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Finally, prepare couscous according to package directions [usually combine 2 cups of water and  1 cup of couscous; bring it all to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until water absorbs]. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to combine.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Stir together olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Add the garlic, sesame, and chili flakes and whisk until emulsified.

Pour dressing into couscous and veggies in a slow steady stream, and then toss once more until dressing is fully incorporated. Serve warm.

Click here for the printable version: Balsamic-Honey Couscous Salad

Question of the Day: What goals are you shooting for this year?

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15 thoughts on “Balsamic-Honey Couscous Salad

  1. Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon

    I love this recipe! I’m definitely going to book-mark it. This summer I discovered the great grain of bulgur, and I’ve been subbing it in for couscous ever since. I’ll give a try with this recipe for sure :)

    Good luck on your marathon training schedule–what a fantastic accomplishment that will be! I’ll look forward to hearing about how the training goes :)

    Reply
  2. Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl

    Good luck on the marathon training! I have loved doing the half marathons in the past, but I’m not sure I want to make the time committment to training for a marathon. I can’t imagine how awesome it must feel to accomplish one though!

    Reply
  3. Jenna

    I love your recipe! I need to get some couscous cooking–you’ve given me the urge. Personally, I need to eat more fruit, so I’ve resurrected my habit of bringing an apple to work every day. I have one sitting on my desk right now–it’s a large and perfect HoneyCrisp, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that baby.

    Reply
  4. Lindsay Reeves

    This looks really yummy Sarah! I have another couscous recipe that I think you might like. Remind me to show it to you on Thursday!

    Reply
  5. Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)

    I started marathon training on monday the 10th, too! I really need to improve my diet. I’m eating SOOO much and trying to make good, high-protein choices but yet I’m really hungry every night. Right now its 11pm and I’m starving even though I ate like 5 meals today. Definitely need to work with the food choices.

    By the way, I am in awe of you with your first time! You may have lots of room to improve but I’m seriously impressed. That is awesome. I am so slow and am nervous about finishing mine in the 6 hour time limit!

    Last thing–stylish blogger! woohoo! haha. http://pancakesandpostcards.com/2011/01/stylish-blogging-on-africa-time/

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Mystery Dish: Champorado [Filipino Chocolate Rice Pudding] | The Pajama Chef

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