How about a delicious warm salad for a healthy meat free Monday night meal? This cous cous salad is filling and delicious. Meat free Monday for me is really about playing around with ingredients and flavours. We’re constantly told to ditch the red meat for more veggies, (now please don’t get me wrong – I am not hating on red meat, just seeing the value in trying to ‘up the vege’) so designating one night a week where you’re conscious of eating more veggies must be a good thing right?
A meat free meal is better on the wallet and an excuse to play around with lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, pasta, nuts of all kinds, not to mention all sorts of lovely types of cheeses and vegetables.
Like most of my recipes – have a play around with what you’ve got in the fridge (Sorry Jim). Be creative. You could substitute the roasted carrots with sweet potato or pumpkin, replace the pine nuts with walnuts or slivered almonds if thats what you have handy and swap the broccolini for broccoli, cauliflower or snow peas. (Make sure you check out my tips below on how to cook vegetables to use in salads).
Lebanese cucumbers, strips of red capsicum, finely sliced Spanish onion or just about any other salad vegetable will work here. Don’t have haloumi handy? Use feta or goats cheese instead. And if you want to follow the recipe ‘word for word’ below – go for it. Do whatever suits you.
And this salad is so good – it can be eaten on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… you get my drift. It’s too good to reserve for Mondays only.
warm cous cous salad w roasted carrots + haloumi + broccolini + pine nuts (serves 2 hungry adults)
3 x carrots, Julienned (which means to peel them and cut in to thin strips)
8 x sprigs of fresh thyme
A drizzle of honey
1 x bunch of broccolini, ends trimmed
1/2 a cup of cous cous
8 x cherry tomatoes, cut in half
A handful of rocket or baby spinach leaves
100 grams of haloumi cheese
A small handful of pinenuts
A drizzle or two of olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Small knob of butter
Caramelised balsamic vinegar, to serve
Chilli flakes, to serve
- In a large roasting pan lined with baking paper, add the carrots and thyme, drizzling with olive oil and honey and seasoning with salt and pepper. Roast in a moderate oven until cooked through. (I turn the carrots half way through the cooking process).
- Cover the cous cous in boiling water from the kettle (1 cup of water for 1/2 a cup of cous cous), adding a dash of olive oil and small knob of butter. Let the cous cous cook by popping a lid over the bowl. After about 5 minutes, the cous cous should of soaked up all of the water. Using a fork, fluff up the cous cous and season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully slice the broccolini stalks in two (which means that they cook quicker) and place in a large fry pan with a dash of water. Pop the lid on and steam the broccolini for approximately 5 minutes or until softened slightly. Take off the heat and strain the broccolini in to a colander, quickly adding a tray of ice cubes to the broccolini and running it under cold water from the tap to ensure that the broccolini cools down and stops cooking.
- Wipe out the fry pan with a clean tea towel and toast the pine nuts in the dry pan for a couple of minutes until they start to brown. (Be careful here as they are very easily burned if you take your eyes off them). Reserve.
- Add a dash of olive oil to the fry pan and fry the haloumi slices on both sides until nicely browned. Reserve.
- Now it’s time to put all of the elements together. On a large serving plate – place the cous cous, scatter the rocket or spinach leaves, topped with the broccolini, carrots, haloumi, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Drizzle some olive oil and caramelised balsamic vinegar over the top and season with salt and pepper. I also like to scatter some chilli flakes over the top.
If you make this salad please leave your comments below, or post your pic on Insta, tagging #los_kitchen. xx