Pesto Couscous Salad

Hmmmmm….what to do, what to do…

I had some leftover veggies in my refrigerator that were on the verge of getting soft and mushy, so I had to use them.  I thought and thought about what to do with them.  Well, I didn’t think that long.  Like I said, my little vegetables didn’t have much time!  Something had to be done!

I thought of a pasta dish.  I thought of a vegetable side dish.  I even thought about being brave and making something with chicken again.  That would mean touching raw chicken again!  I didn’t think too long about that one.  Finally, I thought about how if it were summer I could make all kinds of fun warm-weather salads. 

Well, it’s not summer, but I think today is going to be partly sunny and maybe around 50°, so that counts for something, right? I decided to throw my desperate little babies in a salad complete with couscous and a pesto sauce that isn’t exactly a pesto sauce.  Don’t worry, you’ll see.  It will all make sense in the end.

That is my couscous in my measuring cup with the broken handle.  I guess they just don’t make things like they used to.  I could probably just go out and buy a new set, but it’s more fun to fuddle around with this one…unless it slips out of my hand, spilling couscous everywhere.  That may have happened.  Just sayin’.

Who doesn’t love red peppers?  Is there anything sweeter?  (We all know the answer to that, but please, just roll with me.)

Ok, guys, don’t worry.  I’m just trying to to give you a purpose before you rot in my crisper drawer!

There’s our pesto “sauce”.  Fresh out of the processor is fresh basil, garlic, chicken boullion, and couscous.  Fun!

Don’t feel that you have to stick to the recipe with this one.  You can basically add in anything you have lying around.  I went with cannellini beans, zucchini, red peppers, and green onion. 

And, ummmm, speaking of the ingredient list….Okay, it’s time.  I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret.  I hate onions.  Like, seriously despise them.  I hate yellow onions, green onions, purple onions, chopped onions, sauteed onions….well, you get the point.  All of those people out there that say crazy things like, “They are chopped small and get cooked up!  You can’t even taste them!” (my mother), I’m onto you.  I know when there are onions in something.  I can’t be fooled. 

I know they give so much flavor to dishes and people love them.  I just can’t.  I don’t like things that make me cry.  I just can’t trust a vegetable that makes me cry.  Call me crazy. 

And, just a silly side note – Give me an onion ring?  I will devour it in 2 seconds. 

ANYWAY…back to matter at hand – this fabulous salad!


Serving bowl with handles?  Yes, please!!!  🙂

Pesto Couscous Salad

Pesto sauce:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup bouillon (1 cube or 1 tsp per cup water)

1 bunch fresh basil (1 cup of leaves)

1 cup cooked couscous

Bring the garlic and bouillon to a boil and simmer abour 5 minutes to mellow the garlic.  Put the basil leaves in a food processor, pour in the bouillon and garlic, and blend until smooth.  Blend in the cooked couscous, pulsing until mixed. 


1 can cannellni beans (or other white bean)

2 small zucchini, halved length-wise and cut into slices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste. 

Combine the salad ingredients with the “pesto” and chill.  If salad seems a little dry when serving, you can moisten it with a small amount of fat-free Italian salad dressing. 

I finished up my healthy salad with a very mature snack…

That’s what happens when you have to wait in the check-out line too long.

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