Healthy Chickpea Couscous Salad



So I have a confession to make, my lower tummy is starting to stick out, no, not that!  It's probably due to all those delicious meals I ate back in February - on Super Bowl Weekend, on my Disney World trip, on Valentine's Day, and on my Anniversary.  It's only natural one would put on a couple pounds. Hehe!

Not to fret!  Annoyed  I usually know when I've put on a little weight because my tummy is the first thing to grow and rather than getting all upset about it, I just workout as I normally do, eat healthy as I usually do, and cut down on my dessert intake which I almost never do.  For me, food is not the enemy, desserts are!  Oh I could go on and on about indulging in a gorgeous pretty pink cupcake every single day, it's a huge weakness of mine.

Since I am holding back on desserts temporarily, I am allowing myself 1 day a week to eat out a meal and/or a cupcake, remember all things in moderation because I don't believe in extremes.  And once I get down to my "feel great weight," I'll be baking again and eating desserts a couple times a week as I did in the past.  So if you've been following my blog, you must have noticed I haven't baked anything in the past week.  Well, now the secret is out!

Today I prepared a healthy Chickpea Couscous Salad for my husband and I to enjoy.  I was quite surprised and happy that a bowl of this stuff really filled me up.  I added chickpeas for some extra protein and skipped the feta cheese because I don't like it.  Tell me what you think.  Enjoy!


NUTRITION: Semolina Wheat is grain that is high in protein and has a decent amount of fiber.  Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A and C.  Cucumbers are a very good source of Vitamin C. Chickpeas are a great source of Protein, Fiber, Iron, and Folic Acid.  Lemon is an excellent source of Vitamin C.  Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of Folic Acid and Iron.


INGREDIENTS:
  • Near East Couscous Plain/Whole Grain Couscous (Semolina Wheat) - 1 10 ounce box
  • Boiling Hot Water - 2 cups
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tbsp (with hot water) & 1 tbsp (while fluffing)
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon - Juice of 1 lemon (2 tbsp initially + 1 tbsp at the end)
  • Scallions - 1 bunch - chopped (2/3 cup)
  • Cucumber - 1 medium - peeled & cubed
  • Plum Tomatoes - 2 - chopped
  • Chickpeas - 1 15 ounce can (washed & drained)
  • Fresh Parsley - 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Paprika - 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Boil about 3-4 cups of water on high heat. 
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2. In a large bowl, empty the contents of the Near East Couscous Box. 

3. Once the water boils, add 2 cups of hot water to the couscous.
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4. Add 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
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5. Add salt.
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6. Mix.
7. Cover and allow this to sit for 5 minutes.
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8. In the meantime, chop your veggies and juice the lemon. 
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9. Check on the couscous.  Fluff it with a fork. 
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10. Add black pepper
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11. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice.
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12. Another 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Mix.
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13. Add the chopped veggies... cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions.  Mix.


14. Add the can of chickpeas.  Mix.
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15. Chop the fresh parsley.
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16. Add the parsley along with the remaining lemon juice - 1 to 1.5 tbsp.  Mix.

17. Add salt if you need to.  Add paprika and red chili powder.  The paprika just adds smokiness, not heat.  You can omit the red chili powder if you can't handle heat.  Mix.

18. It's delicious and so healthy!


TELL ME: How do you know when you have put on weight?  What is your biggest weakness?

10 comments:

  1. i m glad finding your blog ,i m gonna do this one!gonna explore all your previous posts.!check out mine too if you want and just for answering to your question when i put weight i can see it in my clothes and actually see it from my face,my cheeks.biggest weakness are pies,pites.!

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  2. I feel you on the dessert cravings. When I make/bake desserts I have one bite, take a picture, blog about it, then give them away! I usually bring them into my work or my husband takes them to his. Needless to say, our coworkers love us! Haha! That one bite/piece is just enough to fulfill my cravings and if I give them away, I can't eat anymore of them! This chickpea salad looks incredible....I love quick, easy, and healthy recipes. I might just have to try this tonight! :)

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  3. Awww, I love it! Someone in my family made something verrrrry similar to this for Thanksgiving. I think I ate half of the bowl myself. It was so delicious! I had been meaning to ask for the recipe, but I think I'll go ahead and give this one a shot :) Thanks for the post and the great pictures!

    I have been on a 'diet' since August so I don't even want to think about putting on weight! I've lost 30 pounds and couldn't be happier. I'd say my biggest weakness is crackers/chips. It's like once I start eating em, I just can't stop!

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  4. Beautiful couscous salad! I love the vibrant colour :D)!

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  5. I love everything about this dish! Divine!! I can't wait to try it out!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  6. looks delicious and healthy too... I love to use chickpeas in any recipe.. my weekness.

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  7. looks so wonderful and healthy.

    If you like, please submit your photos to: http://www.healthfreakfood.com

    yay!

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  8. Light and refreshing. Love the flavor of the paprika. Great lunch idea for work! Also tried this recipe with quinoa as that has so many health benefits and it works!

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  9. love this recipe, very yummy and taste good, make a couscous recipe some days ago, check it out sometime

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