Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s a Foolproof Food Day!

That means I step aside and let a guest poster regale us with tales from his or her kitchen! I hope you will test and enjoy Jessica’s Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad. I look forward to reading your comments, left on this site and on my Facebook wall, viewed daily by tons of hungry Nanas. That’s it. Back to you, Jessica!

How a Roasted Veggie Salad I Made on the Fly Turned Out to Be More Than Magical
By Jessica Kettler

After a food-filled weekend spent around the TV with friends, all I wanted was a big plate of vegetables. But of course, when I asked the inevitable question to my husband, “Do you have any cravings for dinner this week?” his response was pasta.

Well….I was craving a big salad, so I figured I would try to combine the two to make us both happy! I had this big container of whole wheat couscous in my pantry, which I decided to start with, then do what I do best...merge and create! We ended up loving this salad so much I made a note to self to double the ingredients, so I can have leftovers for the week!

Think About This When You Shop for the Ingredients

I headed to the store and let the gorgeous produce section guide me through the ingredient list. Right before the checkout, I passed by a case of fresh mozzarella…and…presto, the idea started to come together! All I had to do was take great care in shopping for the olive oil and balsamic vinegar—because these are what really make the flavors in this dish. The link I just shared is a specialty olive oil place in Raleigh called “MidTown Olive Press” and that was where I bought the star ingredient for this dish. I usually reserve my good oils and vinegars for salads where you can really taste them, but the Tuscan Herb infused oil from MidTown seemed like a worthy gamble. We were pleasantly surprised at its impact on this recipe. All I can say is, WOW…did we ever end up happy!

Think About This When You Make the Dish

When you get around to viewing the complete list of ingredients, you’ll notice that a whole pint of pretty little cherry tomatoes, and other savory items to compliment them, go into this recipe. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stir the tomato mixture around a few times while it marinates to evenly distribute the amazing flavors. Promise me you won’t forget?

Why I Love this Recipe

It’s incredibly low fat! It’s loaded with roasted vegetables and spicy arugula. The couscous can easily be substituted with quinoa (which I did for myself, to satisfy a gluten free eating preference.)

Why My Husband Loves this Recipe:

Okay, his reasons fit on a bullet list:
• fresh mozzarella
• couscous
• spice
• and I should mention again, fresh mozzarella!
P.S. Instead of tossing arugula into this couscous salad, my husband chose to add a chicken breast. And he was a very happy man :)

About Jessica Kettler: She loves everything about cooking; her husband loves everything about eating! She writes about satisfying HIS meat-and-potatoes preferences with HER love of sprouts and quinoa. Welcome to the ultimate kitchen compromise! See it on her blog

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