Couscous Salad with Cilantro Orange Vinaigrette

Remember how I said I've kinda been hung up salads lately? I wasn't lying. It's like I opened up pandora's box of salads. Of course I make other things, too, like chicken or shrimp or pasta, but there will always be a salad.

Always.

I have a tendency to overdo things sometimes, or, in an effort to get rid of ingredients in the refrigerator, I just pile everything on. For this salad I made an effort to simplify and try out the whole idea that more is not always better. 

Since I wouldn't be adding any meat or loads of veggies I thought it would be a good idea to add couscous for a little extra added good stuff like fiber and protein. I always buy this whole wheat couscous from TJs and it's my favorite, but quinoa would also be delicious if you don't have any on hand. You can use your favorite greens, but spinach, baby kale and baby chard are highly recommended (plus I cheat and just buy this which makes my life a billion times easier). Pistachios add a nutty crunch, orange chunks and raisins to add a subtle sweetness.

And then there was the Cilantro Orange Dressing...aka magic green vinaigrette.

Made with fresh oranges and fresh cilantro, this dressing is like a breath of fresh air. With minimal amounts of added oil (just 2 tablespoons!), it's also super light, ridiculously healthy and bursting with flavor. Seriously, citrus and cilantro mixed together is a beautiful beautiful thing.

I have made this salad a couple times now and it never disappoints. It's also an amazing salad for entertaining or potlucks (plus it makes a great vegetarian option!).

 

Couscous Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Salad:
1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pistachios
6 ounces greens (baby spinach, kale, etc. pick your favorite)
1 orange, peeled and chopped

For the Dressing:
2 oranges, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
2 tablespoons water (more if needed)
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. When finished cooking, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

  2. Prepare the dressing- place all ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor and process until fully blended and fully immersed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

  3. In a large salad bowl gently toss together the salad ingredients with the dressing until fully coated. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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