The UnSalad-like Salad
If you’ve ever eaten a meal out with me, you know I’m not really a salad girl. I like an occasional salad and a side salad, but salad-as-entree is generally not my thing. What I do love is a good unsalad.
What’s an unsalad? Well, I guess is sort of like a casserole except not baked. It’s really a mix of things for which you don’t have a name. Case in point: Couscous Chicken Salad.
Now, in my totally-made-up Couscous Chicken Salad, there is couscous and there is chicken, but there is not a scrap of lettuce to be found. ;D That makes me ridiculously happy because the only good thing about lettuce based salads is the dressing….oh, and the croutons!
A couple of summers ago I started making this dish and it has more variations that you can imagine, but they’re all quick, simple, nutritious and great whether you eat it hot right after making it or cold out of the fridge the next day. It’s the perfect “leftovers for lunch” type of meal.
I started last night with a roasted whole chicken. Whole roasted chickens rock. There’s just lots you can do with them. I pulled all the meat off the bone, tearing it into bite sized pieces as I went. Now, you can use any protein for this that you’d like. I think chicken or shrimp are the best as they’re both good hot or cold, but take your pick on protein!
Next? I scrounged the fridge for good veggies. I came up with a good sized zucchini and a couple of different colors of bell pepper and some already diced onions. Perfect. Now, if it weren’t 104 degrees outside, I’d have thrown the veggies on the grill because I think this “salad” is best when everything’s grilled, but heatstroke is not a good look for me, so I sauteed everything in a wee bit of extra virgin olive oil instead.
Meanwhile, a box of Near East couscous found it’s way onto my stovetop. I love this brand because they have whole wheat options, pearl options, and tons of flavor options. Choose the one you like best and that you think best goes with the veggies and protein you’re using.
When everything’s done cooking and shredding and heating, mix it all up in a bowl and serve immediately. But if you don’t get it all eaten, no worries, it’s good for lunch – cold and right out of the fridge – again tomorrow!
Couscous Chicken Salad
1 whole Roast Chicken, deboned and torn into bite sized pieces
1 whole Zucchini, sliced and quartered
2 whole Bell Pepper, diced in bite size pieces
1 cup White Onion, diced
2 cups Whole Wheat Couscous, prepared as directed by package
1. Prepare couscous as directed on the package.
2. Dice veggies and sautee over medium heat until cooked OR grill.
Pull meat off whole roasted chicken, tearing into bite sized pieces.
3. Combine all cooked ingredients and serve hot. *This can also be chilled and served cold. **The roast chicken can be replaced with any protein you choose, using approximately 2 cups of meat.