I'm actually against salad for dinner, in principle. I know you're supposed to have breakfast like a king and have dinner like a pauper, but I find if I don't have a decent meal in the evening I just spend the rest of the night feeling snackish. And as it was only just Easter, there is a lot of chocolate in my flat to be snacked on. Dangerous.
The thing is though, I'm only against salad for dinner as I often don't find it filling. It's why I rarely order it when I go out, because I don't think a plate of leaves and a little bit of meat or cheese is really a meal. I need something with it to give it some substance, like potato or lentils or couscous or rice.
With all that in mind, I decided to make a GOOD dinner salad. We had some cheese in our fridge to use up after our flat warming party and a salad seemed like the healthiest way to make a meal out of it. I bought some giant couscous and some butternut squash and turned it into an excellent dinner salad. It filled us both up nicely, and I only had a LITTLE bit of Easter chocolate afterwards. Well, it needs using up, doesn't it?
Double cheese and giant couscous salad
200g giant couscous
1 stock cube (chicken or veg)
2 red chillies, deseeded (optional)
1/4 butternut squash, diced and roasted
100g goat's cheese
100g blue cheese
Handful of fresh coriander
Lettuce, tomatoes and other salad to serve
30ml Red wine vinegar
30ml Olive oil
1 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1. Boil some water in a saucepan and add a stock cube. When that's dissolved, add the couscous and cook for 6-8 minutes until it's softened with a slight bite.
2. Deseed and chop up your chillies, finely chop your coriander and cut up or crumble your cheese.
3. Drain the couscous and add to a big bowl, then throw in the chillies, coriander, cheese and your diced butternut squash. Stir together until all combined.
5. Serve over lettuce and tomatoes, and pop your dressing on the side so you can add more if you need to.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of days so portion some up for your lunches.
This is one of those recipes that's easy to adapt based on what you have. I've estimated the cheese and butternut squash quantities, as for the squash I just used one of those pre-prepared bags which was reduced in Tesco, and for the cheese I just combined what was left in our fridge. It would be good with bacon, or chorizo, or any other strong cheeses. Have a play with it. You could even add more portions of the couscous to the same amount of other ingredients and probably be fine. The giant couscous is good though - it's the first time I've cooked with it but it has a nice flavour and texture, it's a good middle ground between regular couscous and lentils.