Cous cous salad with tahini dressing [vegan]

sneak peak: a very quick and easy recipe for a vegan cous cous salad with lots of different veggies and a tahini-based dressing

Hello friends, it has been just over a year since my last blog post and now here I am again. Let's not dwell on that though, because announcing that I'm 'back' seems to succeed only in destining me to fail (see: three posts ago...).

a large bowl of cous cous salad being held up against a background of a very green garden

I arrived back from a FANTASTIC (all caps justified and required) yoga retreat in Spain at the weekend (more on that in the next blog post) and, as well as feeling fully zenned up, I came back inspired by all things food. Everything we ate at the retreat was fresh, home-cooked, wholesome, and - obviously - incredibly delicious. I could write for pages and pages and pages about how good it all was, but I'll save that (or a version that is more leaflet than weighty tome) for the next post.

For now, here is a cous cous salad I made for lunch today having been so inspired (#blessed) by the brilliant lunch spreads at the retreat.

a large bowl of cous cous salad with two decorated wooden salad tongs sticking out
cous cous salad served in a bowl with a dollop of vegan yoghurt and some salt and pepper, and a fork sticking out of the bowl

Cous cous salad
vegan, gluten free adaptable; makes a seriously giant bowl so you better like it

300g cous cous approx. (GF if required)
1-2 tbsp bouillon veggie stock powder (GF if required) (or any other spices or flavourings you fancy)
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tin of sweetcorn (or two of the tiny tins), drained
handful pumpkin seeds
handful pine nuts
handful cashews, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
4-5 spring onions, finely chopped
vegan yoghurt, to serve (GF if required)
optional: balsamic vinegar, extra olive oil, houmous, pomegranate seeds, pickled onions - go wild!

6-7 tbsp tahini
5 tbsp olive oil (I used leftover oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes)
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp soy sauce (use liquid aminos for gluten free)
1-2 tsp harissa paste
[adjust all the above ingredients for preferred consistency and to taste as you go along]

1. Fill the kettle with a few mugs' worth of water, and boil. While the kettle is boiling, measure out your cous cous into a big bowl (a BIG bowl, I mean it) and add your choice of spices. Once the kettle is boiled, pour enough into the bowl that the cous cous is just covered with the water coming about a couple of millimetres above it, and cover the bowl with a tea towel.
2. Chop all your veggies and mix the dressing together while the cous cous is absorbing the water (which shouldn't take more than 10 mins). Check that the water is all absorbed, then use a fork to fluff up the cous cous and break apart any clumps.
3. Throw all the veggies, nuts and seeds into the bowl, mix well, then pour over the dressing and mix again. Add the coriander and spring onions, and serve with some vegan yoghurt dolloped on the side and seasoned with salt and pepper.
4. Other serving ideas: a little extra olive oil and some balsamic drizzled over the top; a big scoop of houmous; pomegranate seeds; pickled onions for a bit of zing; anything goes!

Enjoy an overflowing plate as a summery lunch, as a perfect side for a barbecue, or as an ultra travel-friendly packed lunch for work. Store it covered in the fridge and eat within a few days. So easy!

*All photos in this post are mine. If you wish to use any, please ask my permission and credit me.*

bird's-eye view of cous cous salad served in a bowl with a blob of vegan yoghurt with some garden steps in the background


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