It’s been a weird few weeks, it’s been about 3 weeks since we moved but we’re still getting into a routine and trying to find places for everything. Neither of us could get time off work so our evenings have been filled with arranging furniture or filling cupboards (or in my case rearranging cupboards because I keep changing my mind) and our mornings are still completely hectic as I try to work out what is the best way to get to work without hitting endless queues of rush hour traffic (today took 1 hour 50 minutes in standstill traffic due to a crash!! Normally it’s around 45 minutes).
I haven’t cooked in the same volume that I used too because I am still getting used to a new kitchen space on top of a new routine. We have a lovely new oven in our new house but it is SO different to my old one. It isn’t a fan oven, it only has 1 shelf and there isn’t a separate grill! Everything takes so. much. longer to cook 🙂 Although I am burning less food as it is a more gentle heat 😉
We have also started a health kick this week because over the last few weeks takeaways and pizzas crept in, beer was consumed and late night chocolate treats kept us going. Needless to say I woke up on Sunday and decided we’d go on a full-blown diet.
Monday was horrendous, I was SO HUNGRY! I couldn’t even think about browsing blogs or working on here for the fear of eating my computer. I never go on diets because we do eat really healthy, whole foods but sometimes you just need a week of saying “No” to yourself and cutting back consciously to help you get back to the normal routine.
So last night to get prepared I made over night oats to eat in the office for breakfast, a variety of soups for the week and fruit smoothies for us to have as our snacks. I also chopped all of the fruit and vegetable for todays breakfast juice (carrot, apple, spinach and beets) so that my morning was as stress free as possible and I grilled chicken for Scott! Phew being on a diet is time consuming hehe but making the effort last night means the rest of the week will be much easier. Plus we’re less likely to order a takeaway or buy cake if the fridge is full of ready to go goodness!
Anyway, on to this salad! This was a lunch I had at the weekend which I really enjoyed and wanted to share.
Salads aren’t really a regular feature in my menu once the weather gets cold however every now and then I do really fancy one! To make salads a bit more “autumn friendly” I like to add roasted vegetables which have been coated in delicious spices and mix in more bulky foods like lentils or cous cous.
I added an avocado dressing because I wanted to create a sort of dairy free raita which would match the Moroccan spices nicely and freshen up the dish. Avocado’s are a little expensive now summer is over but you can still get them in most supermarkets and they work perfectly in this recipe. You could just use dairy free yoghurt if you didn’t want to buy imported produce.
Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Healthy, Vegan
For the Salad-
1-2 Large Courgette (or seasonal vegetable of your choice)
1 Large Aubergine
10 Cherry Tomatoes
1 tspn Ras El Hanout
2 Portions of Giant Cous Cous. I think I did around 1/2 cup each
Baby Spinach/ Salad Leaves
For the Dressing-1 Avocado
1 Bunch Mint
1 Garlic clove
1 tblspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Splash of water
Salt and Pepper
Slice the courgette and aubergine into bitesize pieces and then coat them with a small drizzle of oil and the Moroccan spices and then roast them in the oven for 20 minutes at 190c. Add the cherry tomatoes half way through the cooking time!
Put the cous cous into a saucepan and boil for 6-8 minutes then drain and put to one side. I left mine to one side a little too long and it stuck, but running boiling water over it in the sieve will loosen it up again!
Make your dressing by putting everything into a blender (peel and destone the avocado and peel the garlic first!!) and whizz it up until its smooth. I add water as well as oil so that you get a thinner consistency but with less calories.
In a bowl (or to save on washing up, in the pan) mix the cous cous and roasted vegetables together. Arrange your salad leaves on two plates and then top with the hot cous cous mixture. Then drizzle over the avocado dressing and serve whilst the veggies are still warm!
I am getting back into a cooking routine and have loads of ideas for the winter season so hopefully I will be more active again now!! Plus don’t forget that the Virtual Vegan Potluck is on Saturday! I have cooked a main course which I think everyone will love! 🙂