Monday, May 2, 2011

Israeli Couscous Salad with Spicy Toasted Chickpeas and Fresh Veggies

Happy Meatless Monday to you all! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I spent some time over the holidays with some of my family who lives states away from me and it was so fun to see everyone! I especially loved to see all my little nieces and nephews. I know everyone says this about their own, but mine are just the cutest ever!  I always miss them, but I see them every few months so its not too bad.

Ok, onto this delicious salad. I made it with Israeli couscous, which is a toasted pasta shaped like little tiny balls. It is much larger than the couscous that you are used to. The flavor is delicious, and fun  for children to eat, and it has a great presentation if you are making this to take to a gathering. With the addition of spicy toasted chickpeas for a punch of complete protein,and lots of fresh raw vegetables, it makes the perfect, light yet filling meal. And it is great eaten chilled, so its also perfect for packing in lunches for yourself or your kids. If you can not find Israeli couscous, you can make this using regular couscous or whole grain pasta noodles that are smaller shaped (like elbow macaroni noodles) and get great results. 

Hope you all enjoy this as much as we did, and if you didn't know what to make your family for meatless Monday, well, now you know. :) And stay tuned. More coming to you this week from my kitchen!

Israeli Couscous Salad
with Spicy toasted chickpeas and fresh veggies

Serves 4-6

What you need:
2 C. uncooked Israeli Couscous
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
pinch of sea salt

Cook couscous according to package directions. Fluff, and then add...
1/2 c. green olives, sliced in half
1/2 c. black olives, sliced in half
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 avocado, diced
juice of 2 lemons
 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. of Ume plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
 salt and pepper to taste
 1 recipe for toasted chickpeas (recipe below)

Spicy Toasted Chickpeas: 
 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well, and blotted with a towel to get extra moisture off.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
good pinch each of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and salt, pepper, and a good pinch of cayenne pepper. Toss and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool for 5 min. Fold into the salad. 


  1. Looks great Morgan! I love these kind of salads and we eat them all the time in the summer. Perfect for cookouts!

  2. Looks great, Olives & Avocado! But, personally, I would sub a different grain for the couscous. Just not a fan.

  3. I just love the idea of toasting chickpeas. I primarily use chickpeas in Indian food - so this is a welcomed variation. Great post!

  4. Looks absolutely wonderful, Morgan!

  5. This dish looks awesome!! I have never tried Israeli couscous, so I am excited to give it a try. It looks really delicious and fun. I also love chickpeas and their health benefits. All your recipes are always so tasty, so I have no doubts this one is excellent too:)

  6. This sounds great! I've never had Israeli couscous but I made a similar dish yesterday with orzo but your avocado is an awesome addition!

  7. I never heard of Israeli couscous!!! I need to find it because I love the idea that it's bigger. Looks amazing!!! I can never find ume plum vinegar. I saw Alica uses it a lot in her book but never found it. I think I need to check out an Asian market or something?

    So glad you have a great time with your adorable nieces and nephews!

    Hopefully you get some news from me tomorrow...I tried your advice again today and got contractions but they stopped. Aunty Mo power is kinda working!!!

    Love Yah!!

  8. How nice you were able to see your family and could spend some time with them.
    I never had Isralei couscous, but I think I can get a very similar pasta here, that is used for soups. I should really find it.

  9. Snap - I made some sald using pearl couscous too.

    Sounds like you had a great time with your nephews and neices. I'm due to be visiting mine soon too. Every tiem I see them, they've grown an inch or two!

  10. I have never cooked with Israeli couscous believe it or not. I'd love to try your salad, the Israeli couscous seems like a much more interesting texture than pasta noodles or regular couscous.

  11. Looks great, love istraeli coucous!

  12. This is my favorite recipe ever!! Soooo delicious!!