Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Hi again! So this time it didn't take me a whole 3 months for my next post! Whoooooohoooo, someone congratulate me! I really do want to try and blog more often, I promise! I love writing and letting my 5 viewers learn new recipes that I have tried and loved!

Wedding planning has officially taken over my life, but I have to say, if I didn't have Faraz (my fiance), I would be so much more busy, not to mention stressed! He has been helping out so much! (I can be as sappy as I want on here, because Faraz never reads my blogs!)

Oh and one last thing before I start talking about my recipe today.  I want to give my girl, Farhana, a shout out.  She is one of my newest bloggers that I love checking out, and I like to think we keep each other motivated with these blogs! You can check her out here!

Anyways, so I made this dish thanks to a friend. She inspired me! She made this for iftaar (breaking fast meal) for her family, and I wanted to attempt it myself! It turned out quite delicious! I loved how light yet flavorful it was! So go on and give it a try, you won't be disappointed :)

Ingredients for Salad
Ingredients (6-8 servings):
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 cup cups chopped kalamata olives (pits removed)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large lemon (juice)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper


1. Cook the couscous according to package instructions. For mine, I have to boil about 1 1/2 cup water, stir the couscous in, turn off heat, and cover it for about 5-6 minutes. So simple!
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate while you move on to next steps.
3. Slice the tomatoes, dice the cucumbers, cut the artichoke hearts, slice the kalamata olives, and chop the basil.
2. Place the couscous in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and basil.
4. Pour the dressing over the couscous salad and stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper to your own taste. If you want to top with feta cheese, you can at this point (totally worth the extra calories!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Balsamic Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Balsamic Watermelon Cucumber Salad

So I am definitely not even going to talk about how long it's been since my last blog.  It's been long, I know! My excuse, you ask?

I AM GETTING MARRIED! Hahaha, it's been a crazy few months, getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting ready to move out! Crazy, but very, very exciting! It also means I have been pretty darn busy, but I wanted to get back into blogging.  I mean I do love cooking, but after a long day at work, and various wedding appointments, the furthest thing on my mind is food!  I also have to take advantage of my mom's cooking for as long as I can! In a few months, I won't have anyone to cook for me anymore (let's face it, my fiance can't really cook!).

So here I am blogging, but no promises on exactly how often I am going to be doing this.  Just often enough so you don't forget about me!

As many of you know, Ramadan has started, which means long days of no eating and drinking when the sun is up! I live in Seattle, where daylight is around 15-16 hours.  That's a longggggg time of NO EATING/DRINKING! On top of that, it's been very nice in Seattle! It's currently 80 degrees right now (and 7:58pm, almost time to eat!).  But all this makes me want to eat chilled salads! Of course as a side meal since, come on, after a long day of fasting, I can't just feast on salad!

Alright, so I made this salad yesterday for myself (thanks to the lovely Gina), I didn't want to make too much just because I wanted to see how I liked it.  It turned out quite delicious actually, and I will definitely be making it again! Watermelon is definitely in season, so it's always at my house! This salad was for about 2 people and I thought I would have the leftovers today except my dad ate the rest last night! Desi parent approved! :D Anyways, enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients for Salad
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
2 cups watermelon
1/2 medium cucumber
1/8 cup kalamata olives (pitted)
1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 tbsp fresh basil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Dice the watermelon and cucumber. Slice the kalamata olives. Chop the basil.
2. In a small sauce pan, pour the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.  Place over medium - high heat until brown sugar is dissolved, then reduce to low heat and reduce glaze to about half the amount (about 8-10) minutes.  (You can also just buy balsamic glaze).
3. In a medium bowl, place the watermelon, cucumber, olives, basil, and feta.
4. Add about 1 tbsp of the glaze (more to taste) to the top of the salad.  Toss just to mix everything.