Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Cool CousCous Salad.

So, I just lost my job last week. (Boo!) Now, whenever I spend money on something, however important and necessary, I feel guilty for doing so. But, I still gotta feed myself. Thankfully, like the ant in the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, I had enough food stacked in my pantry to survive a nuclear winter. Especially beans. I have mung beans, fava beans, romano beans, lima beans, all dehydrated. I also have tons of rice, couscous, orzo, pasta, all sorts of dry goods, really. I also have frozen meats like bacon, pork chops, chicken breasts, and even one of my grandma's meat pie. I thought now is a good time as ever to put 'em to good use.

With the summer heat setting in (along with the humidity) I thought it'd be good to do something light and that you can eat cold. Meat was out of the question then. So, I settled on a bean and couscous salad using the romano beans. I had to plan ahead because those damn dehydrated beans take a whole 24h to re-hydrate! However, in the end I would have a nice filling meal with protein and vegetables and basically all that I need to survive! Here's how you can do it:


  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of couscous, uncooked
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp of red cooking wine
  • about 2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepepr
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 cup of dehydrated romano beans
  • salt and pepper if you like


First of all, make sure you prepare a day ahead  if you are using dehydrated beans like me, because you have to soak the beans in water for a solid 24 hour for them to become soft and ready to cook. So start with that. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with lots of water and leave it overnight and the day after. Really let them soak.

When you're ready to make your couscous, drain the beans, fill up a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the beans and cook until soft. Not mushy, just soft like beans right out of the can. My advice is to start this very early because it takes a heck of a long time to cook beans. While these cook, just do the rest of this recipe. Drain them in a colander when they're done and rinse in cold water.

Another thing is to set aside one cup of frozen corn kernels and let them thaw out. Unless they're from a can and ready to eat, then, whatevs.

In a pot, bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil and add the chicken broth powder as indicated on the container.  Or bring 1 1/4 cup of actual chicken broth to a boil.

When it starts to boil, slowly add the couscous while stirring. Then immediately cover and take off the heat. Let the hot broth cook the couscous for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork and transfer to a cool container, like an aluminum bowl.

While all this stuff is boiling you can start on the vegetables. First wash everything under cold running water. Then start chopping! I went by order of how much stuff sticks to the cutting board. First the pepper.

Then the green onions.

Then the cilantro. Make sure you chop that really fine so it mixes well with the couscous.

Set all of this aside and look at the awesome colours.

Now for the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and cumin and whisk it up.

Add the vegetables to the vinaigrette and mix it up real good so it covers everything. Then add the couscous and the beans when they're done cooking. Mix this all up together until it's even.

You can serve it right away or cool it in the fridge for a long time to serve later. It's a great cool refreshing little salad with everything you need. Vegetables, cereals, proteins, etc. And it makes a really big batch so you can have some for a long time! Perfect for a dude like me who just lost his job and needs to eat something light in the hot summer heat. I hope you enjoy!

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