This past week, I spent a lot of time deliberating an online boot purchase. You see, when it comes to buying something – online or off – I spend a ton of time researching and figuring out the pros and cons. I really, really wanted the said boots, but I wasn’t sure if the fit would be right. Boots can be tricky – the heels can be too wide, the foot bed too narrow or they could be too tight in the calves. And because I couldn’t find a store in Vancouver to try them on, I decided in the end that it just wasn’t worth it. Especially since shipping to Canada is expensive and returns would bring a whole other headache. So I played it safe and I’m sadly bootless. However, there is one area in my life where I’m reckless – the kitchen.
Take this salad for example. I wasn’t planning on making a salad, it just sorta happened. I had prepped my cumin and lemon cauliflower and needed something else, stat. When I spied a box of mediterranean couscous in the cupboards, it seemed like the ideal accompaniment. I prepared it according to the package and then went rooting in the fridge for something else to make the meal sing. I found an onion, a red pepper, 1/2 a cucumber and some feta. A salad seemed like a logical choice, but realizing that the cauliflower would be done way before the couscous even started to cool seemed foolish. Why not a warm salad? I sauteed up the red onion and pepper, whipped up a dressing and threw in the cold, diced cucumber and the crumbled feta and the results were delicious. The vinaigrette hit all the right notes and the flavour was bang on. Pretty excellent results for a salad thought up on the fly. And the salad leftovers were fantastic the next day eaten cold out of the jar. If you wanted to add some additional protein, some chickpeas would be a smart choice.
elsewhere: Need a sweet but wholesome treat? Whip up some of these peanut butter oat balls that I posted at Poppytalk – perfect for kids, but just as easy going down when you’re past the legal age. And speaking of drinking, isn’t it time to add spark to your happy hour? Try this delicious blood orange & bourbon sipper, The New Newfangled over at ReadyMade (it packs a wallop!). Not foodie related, but a crazy story to say the least, I write about my love for Dr. Bronner’s soap company – check it out.
warm mediterranean couscous salad
1 c Israeli couscous
1 T olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/3 c feta cheese, crumbled
3 T olive oil
juice & zest of 1 large lemon
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t agave syrup or honey
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried dill
salt & pepper
Prepare couscous according to package directions (2 cups of water to 1 cup of couscous). In a small saute pan, heat olive oil and saute the red onion and red pepper until fragrant and just soft, a few minutes. Set aside.
Prepare the dressing by shaking all the ingredients in a small jam jar. Set aside.
When the couscous is done, toss with the onion and pepper and dressing. Toss again with the cucumber and feta and serve warm. Leftovers are great eaten from the fridge cold.
that second photo – can I have that for dinner please? I really like the idea of a hearty salad paired with roasted cauliflower and some spice.
This is absolutely my favorite kind of recipe–the sort that starts with “what’s in the cupboard?” and a bit of inspiration. Yum!
I am all about warm salads right now! I’m totally on the same page with regards to purchases, but sad to hear you are bootless in the middle of winter!
Absolutely, Tara, it’s all yours 🙂
Thanks Rowdy Chowgirl – it’s like my mind is now an open book!
Kimberley, luckily I’m in Vancouver where there is no snow – just rain (and I’ve got the rain boots covered). I hope we both get a bit of luck in the boot department, here’s hoping!
I am so not an online shopper unless we’re talking about cookbooks. Those are one size fits all.
I love the mediterranean flavors in this couscous! So refreshing.
I love improvising in the kitchen, too! That’s why I enjoy cooking more than baking. You can play around and the results are *usually* pretty good! Those boots do look nice! I’m sorry you didn’t get them. I guess shipping isn’t free to Canada? I am so spoiled with free shipping and free returns for online shoe shopping. I never hesitate to order a pair because I know I can return them if they don’t work. Oh, well! Sorry for you…
Thanks Joanne! Yeah, the online shopping thing is an easy thing to slip into – distractions galore!
Rivki, I wish there was free shipping – but then I probably might spend more than I should! But I wish shoe shopping online was simpler to us Canadians. sigh, oh well!
Unromantic, you say? Pshaw! If my fiancée made this for me, I’d be beaming. I love when he makes me food, especially something colorful and healthy! Because I’m obsessed with oranges lately, I might try orange zest and juice in place of the lemon. I think that might go well with the olives and feta!
Oh hi there, can you fed ex that salad my way! It looks so good…this salad is going down in my kitchen tonight with some lemon garlic chicken on the side 😉 Happy Valentines Day xo!
I ordered boots online once, and I’m happy to say it worked out GREAT, but I’m still leery. They have Earth boots at a shoe store in Fairhaven in Bellingham, just so you know. Maybe next time you’re down…
Haha, thanks Heather! If someone made this for me, I’d be swooning too!
Eva, I’m sure you’ll love it. I love the sound of a lemon garlic chicken too. Sounds like a wonderful dinner planned 🙂
Lydia, thanks so much for the tip. I rarely cross the border, but now I’m itching to go!
bang on! haha! yes yes it’s true. our tastebuds are buds! I LOOOOVE salads like this! I like to eat them cold too. Sometimes I throw a little sumac in, cuz I like things lemony! Also, I just bought boots from piperlime too!! EEP!
I’ve been making almost the exact same salad recently – only with quinoa! it’s a great source of protein and it’s good warm or cold. I’ve also tried mixing diced fresh spinach with my salad. SO GOOD.
Tracy, totally taste bud buds!! And what boots did you buy? I love seeing everyone’s boot purchases!
Heather that sounds so good! I love spinach and I’m sure that would be awesome.
In the past, I’ve made brash decisions when shopping online and ended up with small-sized vintage boots or a small-sized dress or an extra large trench coat. Yes, I ended keeping them all in an attempt to not spend more cash to return it. Lesson learned. Research…research…research!
Israeli couscous is delicious cold or warm and I’ve had it both ways. This is a perfect way to use up bits ‘n bobs in the fridge. The dressing sound very tasty and zingy too!
I made israeli couscous once and the texture cold just threw me off. I’m dying to try this; I hope the warm salad fixes that problem for me.
Indeed, Bijoux, this is the salad for using up all those leftovers hanging about. AS for online shopping, it’s tricky business! I wish it was easier and more retailers shipped to Canada free & with free returns. Sigh.
Michelle, give this a try! I love it and my husband who hates regular couscous loves this kind. Let me know what you think.
Hi! I’m a new reader to your blog. I just discovered it today and I love it. This recipe looks super yummy. I’m definitely going to try it out.