Vegetarian Gluten Free White Chili Mac

I’m going to be honest, this recipe was kind of made up on the fly. Because I tend to feel really awful when I’ve eaten tomatoes. I’m really sensitive to certain nightshade vegetables. So I was planning to make a chili mac dish for lunch but I needed one that doesn’t require tomatoes. Which made me think of white chicken chili with a vegetarian spin.

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Vegetarian White Chili Mac

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms stems removed and sliced
  • 2 15oz Cans White Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 4oz Can Diced Green Chiles
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 8.8oz Box Gluten Free Pasta cooked to package instructions

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook an additional three to four minutes.
  • Add the beans, green chiles, spices, lime juice, and vegetable stock. Simmer about 15 minutes.
  • Add the cooked gluten free pasta. If preparing for meal prep, divide between meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Six Weeks of Meal Prep Lunches, Menu Planning Made Easy

Ready to get started with meal prep but no clue where to start? I’ve compiled a list of twelve easy, healthy, and delicious recipes to get you started on your menu planning.

I like to plan two recipes for my weekday lunch meals, three days of one recipe, two day of another. This way I never get bored with eating the same thing every week. If you prefer to simplify, you can definitely stick to one recipe per week. In which case, here’s twelve weeks of menu planning all done for you.

Setting up a meal prep routine is a great way to save time and money during the week.

  • Preparing your own food saves money. Pick your meals based on what’s on sale and in season to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  • Preparing your own meals means having total control over ingredients. This is important if you’re on a specialty diet. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what you’re eating and can feel good about what you’re putting into your body.
  • Spending just an hour or two in the kitchen one day a week means not spending time preparing meals every day, freeing up your time for everything else you need to get done in a day. And who couldn’t use a little more time?

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I’m in! How do I get started?

First, plan your menu. I spent a little time, usually not more than 20 minutes picking out what I want for meals the following week. I use Pinterest and my cookbook library to plan out what I’m going to make. I use a two column document to create my shopping list on one side and my menu for the week on the other. Get your free printable right here on my blog (see the form above).

Next, I spent a little time on Sundays doing my cooking. Typically, I prep lunches, snacks, and any baked goods I’m planning to make. I like to leave dinners to be made fresh during the week. I find it a nice way to relax in the evenings after a busy day. But set your meal prep plan based on what works for your lifestyle.

When I’m done, I have a week’s work of healthy options ready to grab and go. I use glass food containers that are microwave and dishwasher safe for easy heating and clean up. I like containers with compartments so there is space for a main dish, sides, special condiments, etc. Here is a link to my favorites:

Ready to Get Started?

Here’s a list of twelve of my favorite lunch recipes to start you off:

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Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Sweet glazed carrots and nutty black rice make a great pairing in this salad.

I first started doing meal prep three years ago. I found myself getting tired of eating the same old sandwich and fruit every single day. My process has continued to evolve as my schedule and tastes have changed. But I still take the time, at the start of each week, to create delicious and healthy meals to keep me going during a busy week.

For more details on how I plan my meal prep every week, jump over to my Meal Prep page (see top menu). You’ll find helpful tips as well as essential products I use. Subscribe to my blog to get a free download of my meal prep planning worksheet.

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Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Non-stick baking mat

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 Large Carrots peeled and cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Black Rice (aka Forbidden Rice)
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 lb Salmon
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the coriander and cumin seeds.
  • In a bowl, combine the carrots, 1 tbsp of avocado oil, ground coriander and cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread out over the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Add the maple syrup and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a small pot, combine the black rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender the water has been absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon about 8 minutes per side, or until done.
  • To a large bowl, add the arugula, almonds, cranberries, black rice, carrots, and the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
  • Divide the salad among meal prep containers. Add portions of the salmon. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Quick and easy salad, perfect for meal prep

It’s meal prep time again! This salad is a quick and easy combination of lots of amazing super foods. For starters, pearl barley is a good source of potassium and fiber. Figs, dried blueberries, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are all rich sources of antioxidants and other nutrients which help reduce inflammation in the body.

This recipe makes two lunch servings of salad. It can also be doubled and served as a delicious side dish, without the chicken.

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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 5-6 Calimyrna Figs quartered
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 Chicken Breast cooked and diced

For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • In a medium pot, place the pearl barley and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, on low, for 30 minutes. The barley should be tender and all the water absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the cooled barley. Toss with the dressing to coat.
  • Divide the salad into meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Roasted Vegetable Salad

Usually, I stick to roasting vegetables for fall and winter dishes. But sometimes, you just need a good comfort dish, regardless of the weather. In which case, this is the vegetarian lunch for you. Salmon or chicken would be great protein additions if you prefer to add a little more protein. This is also a great side dish.

Roasting Veggies

To roast my veggies, I start with preheating the oven to 400 degrees. I prefer roasting at a higher heat, to help the vegetables caramelize. Cut your vegetables into similar sizes to ensure they cook evening. In this salad, I used eggplant, yellow bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Toss the cut vegetables in a tablespoon or two of avocado oil. Then I season them with a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of za’atar, salt and pepper. If you’re a regular reader, you’re likely already familiar with my love of za’atar. It adds a delicious earthiness to just about anything. I’m a big fan and use this stuff on just about everything! Spread the veggies on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast about 35 minutes. I give them a stir about half way through the cooking process.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Put it Together

To assemble this salad, add the roasted vegetables and the couscous to a large bowl. I also added some extra peas I had from my Quinoa Pea Salad. Toss everything to combine. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil and the juice of half a lemon to create a dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with a little sprinkle of za’atar and feta cheese crumbles (omit if serving with meat).


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Roasted Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small Eggplant diced
  • 1 small Zucchini sliced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper stem, ribs and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1 large Carrot peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Za'atar divided
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous prepared according to package instructions
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Feta Crumbles optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the vegetables in one tablespoon of avocado oil, one teaspoon of za'atar, the cumin, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables into a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking process.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous and peas according to package instructions.
  • To assemble the salad, combine the prepared couscous and peas with the roasted vegetables, along with any cooking liquids from the veggies. Add the remaining avocado oil, lemon juice, and za'atar. Toss to combine. Garnish with feta crumbles (omit if serving with meat).
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Sweet Chili Chicken Meal Prep

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry is great for a meal prep lunch. It’s satisfying and delicious without being heavy.

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

I love the flavor of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce but all that extra sugar can be a little rough. So I came up with a quick swap that’s a little more anti-inflammatory friendly. Start with a sugar-free apricot jam. Use one made with Stevia. Stevia is a no calorie, plant-based sweetener that is anti-inflammatory friendly. Add a tablespoon of Thai chili paste to a measuring cup and add enough jam to make a cup. Set it aside.

Gluten Free Breading

My go-to coating when I need a breading is cornstarch. Be careful if you have celiac because cornstarch is often processed in plants that also process wheat. Cornstarch adds a light crispiness and helps thicken sauces.

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Recipe

To prepare this recipe, start by cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown. It will cook through in the sauce.

Add the slices of bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook an additional two minutes. Then lower the heat to low and add the sauce mixture. Allow the chicken and vegetables to simmer in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your preferred grain option. In this case, I used rice noodles.

For meal prep, divide the noodles between two meal prep containers. Divide the chicken mixture between the containers. Store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and enjoy.

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Sweet Chili Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai Chili Garlic Paste
  • 1 cup Apricot Jam sugar free
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Your Grain of Choice prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots

Instructions
 

  • Add the chili sauce to the apricot jam. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown on all sides.
  • Add the sliced bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook another two to three minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the apricot jam mixture. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Portion your prepared grain of choice, followed by the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Great for lunch or a quick snack

Chicken salad is a great go to as a sandwich, with greens for a salad, or as a protein-packed snack with crackers. This salad has a little different twist with the addition of sweet, dried blueberries, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Both add great flavor and extra fiber.

This recipe can dressed in two ways. I used a jarred olive oil based mayonnaise. You can also substitute vegan-aise.

Or blend your own dressing using an avocado, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a table spoon of avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.

However you choose to dress this salad, it makes a great grab-and-go lunch. Save yourself some time and use leftover chicken or even a cooled rotisserie chicken from your local market.

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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chicken cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cups Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
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Ginger Pineapple Chicken

The key to keeping meal prep lunches interesting is making them flavorful. This dish is loaded with flavor from the fresh ginger to the juicy pineapple. Add in tender chicken and a protein-packed grain. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapple has long been known as an anti-inflammatory. Why? Because it contains Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Studies say it can also help with pain control. So it’s a great ingredient to incorporate into your diet if you are affected by inflammatory autoimmune conditions (see my About Me page for disclaimers). Plus it’s sweet and delicious!

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has a crazy amount of health benefits. It’s a natural germ fighter. It’s great for relieving nausea and stomach irritation. It’s anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce muscle pain. It’s the epitome of a super food! Plus fresh ginger adds a slightly spicy, slightly citrus flavor to dishes. It’s so good!

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Recipe:

Start by taking the skin off a fresh pineapple and removing the core. I like to use a pineapple corer to make this job a little easier and cuts the fruit into even slices. Place half the pineapple into the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup of coconut aminos, 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 inch of grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth and set aside.

Cut the remaining pineapple into chunks and set aside.

Cut about a pound of chicken thigh meat into bite sized pieces (swap breast meat if you prefer). Toss the chicken pieces in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a pan. Heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and allow to brown. When the chicken is nearly browned, add the pineapple pieces. Allow them to caramelize. Add the pureed mixture from the food processor. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your grain of choice.

Divide the grain between three meal prep containers. Top with the chicken mixture. Store in the fridge until ready to heat and enjoy.

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Ginger Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pineapple peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the sauce, add half the pineapple along with the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and salt to a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • Cut the remaining half of the pineapple into chunks and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the pineapple chunks and allow to caramelize. Pour in the sauce mixture and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
  • Prepare your grain of choice.
  • Portion your grain of choice and the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Israeli Couscous Salad

This vegetarian salad is so simple to prepare and packed with delicious flavor. This recipe is enough for two vegetarian salads for your meal prep lunch. Or service it as a side dish with chicken, fish, or lamb. I like it along side my Za’atar Lamb Chops. Find the link to this recipe, and more, below.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are great if you’re in a hurry. I look for reduced sodium or no salt added whenever I need to purchase them. But they can’t compete with the flavor of with the flavor of cooking them yourself. Preparing chickpeas is really simple. It just requires a little advanced planning because they do need to soak overnight. For one cup of dried chickpeas, you’ll need four cups of water. Place the chickpeas and water in a large bowl and allow to set on the counter (or in the fridge) overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, drain the soaking water from the chickpeas. Place them in a pot and add four cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain the cooking liquid and you’re ready to use freshly cooked chickpeas in salads, soups, or stews. Prepare your own hummus or roast them for a satisfying, crunchy snack.

Art of Tea Organics

Preparing the Salad

This salad couldn’t be simpler to prepare once the couscous and chickpeas are cooked. In a bowl, combine the couscous, chickpeas, finely diced red onion, and matchstick carrots.

Next, to make the dressing, add the herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food process. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture and stir to combine.

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Israeli Couscous Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous
  • 1 cup Chickpeas cooked
  • 1/2 small Red Onion finely diced
  • 1 small handful Mint
  • 1 small handful Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. I recommend substituting a vegan vegetable stock for the amount of water called for.
  • While the couscous is cooking, add the mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked couscous, chickpeas, onion, and carrots. Add the dressing and stir to combine.
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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Lentils, Barley, Tuna and Herb Dressing

This earthy and delicious salad makes a perfect lunch.

This is something of an “everything but the kitchen sink” type salad. It started off with roasted sweet potatoes, wilted spinach, lentils, and pearl barley in an herb dressing. Which sounded like a nice combination of super foods. Then I decided to add in some hard boiled eggs for a little extra protein. Which lead me to debate adding in some tuna instead of the eggs. Ultimately, I decided, why not both?

The overall combination is an earthy and satisfyingly filling lunch that works perfectly for meal prep. The recipe made three days worth of lunch-sized salad servings. This would also make a great weeknight dinner.

Art of Tea Organics

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil. The idea is roast and caramelize the sweet potatoes so I would avoid using a silicone baking mat in this case. Toss the diced sweet potatoes in avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes until soft. Stir the potatoes halfway through the roasting process.

While the potatoes roast, add the lentils and pearl barley in a small pot and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. When the lentils and barley have finished cooking, turn off the heat. Add the spinach to the pot and cover. This will allow the spinach to wilt in the steam.

I like to use a mini food processor for the dressing. I find it makes creating vinaigrette dressings easier. So I add all of the dressing ingredients to the mini food processor and process until they are combined.

To assemble the salad, add the sweet potatoes, tuna, spinach, lentils and barley to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Top with chopped hard boiled eggs.

This is a great dish for meal prep. Portion it out into your preferred meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.


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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Lentils, Pearl Barley, Tuna and Herb Dressing

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1/2 cup Green Lentils
  • 2 Eggs hard boiled, peeled, and sliced
  • 5 oz Tuna drained, if using canned
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 3 cups Water or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Olive or Avocado Oil
  • 2 tbsp Dried Dill
  • 2 tbsp Dried Chives
  • 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the sweet potatoes with the avocado oil, salt and pepper on a lined baking sheet. Roast the potatoes for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished, allow to cool slightly.
  • While the potatoes are roasting, combine the pearl barley, lentils, and water (or vegetable stock) in a small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • When the lentils and barley have finished cooking, add the spinach to the pot. Cover and allow to wilt slightly, about five minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, lentil mixture, and tuna. Stir to combine and top with hard boiled eggs and herb dressing.

For the Dressing

  • Combine the dressing incredients in the bowl of a small food processor. Process to combine.

Notes

1/4 cup fresh dill and 1/4 cup fresh chives can be substituted for the dried herbs in the dressing.
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