Italian Couscous and Veggie Salad

There’s nothing quite like a quick-cooking, light grain dish to cool the body in warm weather. Using couscous as a neutral foundation, we pull together olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and bitter greens to create incredible energy.  With the staying power you get from tempeh added to the mix, this dish will have you playing volleyball in the yard well after everyone else has tired out.

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredient List: 

1 cup spring or filtered water
sea salt
1 cup couscous
extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2-3 tablespoons capers, drained
6-8 sundried tomatoes, soaked until tender, diced
8-10 oil-cured black olives, pitted, diced
1 small bunch baby arugula
3-4 stems fresh basil, leaves removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 pound tempeh, crumbled, sautéed until golden brown

Step By Step Instructions: 

Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan with a pinch of sea salt.  Add couscous, cover and turn off heat.  Allow to stand, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Place a small amount of oil, onions and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, sauté with a pinch of salt, until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add capers and stir in.  Stir in olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  Cook over low heat stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in arugula, basil and a light sprinkle of salt.  Stir well to combine.

Serve the salad by simply stirring cooked veggies and tempeh into couscous.  Serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil sprigs.

COOK’S TIP: To brown tempeh, heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and cook crumbled tempeh; sprinkle with sea salt or a splash of soy sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and slightly crispy, about 4-5 minutes.