Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and Couscous Salad

Since I started my new job, I've been pretty busy and haven't had much time to cook, especially on the weekdays. So, I've been scouting out dishes that I can make on Sundays and take to work the rest of the week for lunch. Luckily, my current favorite cookbook (as you all probably know by now), In the Small Kitchen, has tons of great recipes for workweek lunches that I have made use of.

I adapted one such recipe for roasted cauliflower and quinoa salad to make this dish, adding in one of my current obsessions—Trader Joe's chicken sausage. The sausage I used in this recipe contains an assortment of chopped veggies, mushrooms and Asiago cheese, so it adds three components to the dish with a single ingredient. Also, it gives the dish a little more weight and helps keep you full throughout the day.

The dish has a Middle Eastern flavor to it, thanks to the combination of couscous, olive oil, red wine vinegar, coriander, cumin and flat leaf parsley. The other ingredients work well with this flavor profile and everything comes together to create a really tasty and unique salad. Added bonus— it's a healthy lunch option packed with protein, vitamin C and whole grains. Plus, there are lots of great ways you can adapt the recipe to create different (but equally delicious) variations. Don't be afraid to experiment with the type of roasted vegetable, meat and grain, until you find your ideal combination.

Bon appetit!

Roasted Cauliflower and Couscous Salad
Serves 4
Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and divided into florets
2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 lb Trader Joe's Garden Vegetable, Mushroom and Asiago Chicken Sausage (or other sausage)
4 tbsp golden raisins
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
20 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt, and arrange it in one layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing partway through. Each floret should be quite brown and tender. Remove from the oven and season to taste. Set aside.

In a small lidded saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and the couscous to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.

A single ingredient that adds packs a flavorful punch

Meanwhile, remove sausage from the casing and cook in a large saucepan over medium heat until light brown. Use the back of a fork to break up the sausage by pressing it against the side of the pan.

If using, saute the tomatoes with a bit of olive oil in a small saucepan until softened and shriveled slightly.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in the sausage, raisins, olive oil, vinegar, coriander, cumin, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Serve topped with the roasted cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and some Italian parsley.

Source: adapted from In the Small Kitchen

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