One of my favorite things to do is to take a side-dish recipe and turn it into a main dish. This is especially wonderful in the summertime because so many of my favorite side-dish recipes are light and healthy.
Besides that, I like to stretch out leftovers as long as I can so that my weekly cooking schedule isn’t quite as demanding—working smarter, not harder—in the kitchen. Preparing a side dish as a main dish on a Monday, allows my family to have leftovers on Tuesday. And then Wednesday, it can return as a side dish, and I can make a quick, easy main dish to accompany it, like rotisserie chicken.
Keep things cool and laid back in the kitchen with my Lemon Pepper Couscous Salad.
- 1 box cherry tomatoes
- 1 small box of spinach
- 1 small bunch of long green onions
- 3 large cucumbers
- 3 diced chicken breasts
- 2 ½ cups of pearl couscous
- 1 ½ cups of crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the Vinegarette
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- ½ tbsp. seasoned salt
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil over high heat.
- Add in couscous and stir until a golden brown.
- Pour water over couscous and bring to a boil.
- Continue to stir.
- Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cover pan and simmer until water has evaporated and couscous is tender.
- Remove from stove, and fluff through couscous with a fork.
- Once cool, stick in refrigerator.
- While couscous is cooling, toss diced chicken breast in sauté pan on medium-high heat.
- Season chicken as desired.
- Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from stove to cool.
- Once chicken is cool, also stick in refrigerator.
- While couscous and chicken are cooling, wash tomatoes, spinach, onions, cucumbers, and lemons.
- Cut tomatoes in halves.
- Dice onions and cucumbers.
- Finely chop spinach.
- Squeeze lemons and collect juice.
For the Vinegarette
- Take a glass bottle and pour in olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, ground pepper, and paprika.
- Place top on bottle and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are mixed together.
Lastly, take couscous and chicken out of refrigerator. In a large bowl, mix together couscous, chicken, tomatoes, spinach, onions, cucumbers, and feta cheese. Once everything is mixed together, add in desired amount of vinaigrette to complete this light and healthy dish.
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