This week has left me quite drained if I’m allowed to be honest. Not only did I have a few very big projects to do, I also had clients to please and a mountain of admin to work through. This has left me with very little time to eat lunch, which has never been one of my ‘main priority’ meals. The fact that I have to press pause on my day to rustle together something nutritious and somewhat appetising is reason enough alone to leave me unenthusiastic. Add to that the full and tired feeling I get after I eat some days and I have enough reason to skip this meal altogether. Although, I know it’s not healthy to do this so I’ve been aiming to make myself easy lunches that pack flavour and nutrients and also take minutes to assemble while leaving me with energy to carry on with the rest of my day.
This couscous salad does just that. When Mediterranean Delicacies sent me a few packs of their Haloumi I knew I wanted to incorporate the chewy, squeaky and delicious cheese in a salad of some sorts. Lentils and mixed greens were an option but the whole-grain couscous in my pantry was begging to be used so I decided to combine the haloumi (which I had fried in a tiny bit of olive oil) with roasted orange sweet potato (one of my new favourites as we’ve only been getting white sweet potatoes thus far) and a zesty, spicy chilli dressing. My best friend joined me for lunch when I made this and she could not stop mmming and aaah-ing whilst eating which is always a good sign.
2 medium orange sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
200g whole-wheat couscous
hot chicken stock (approximately 250ml-300ml)
200g Mediterranean Delicacies Haloumi, cubed
1/2 cup oil, for frying
for the chilli dressing
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°c and grease a small roasting tray.
- Toss the cubed sweet potato with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread over the roasting tray and place in the oven. Allow to roast for 15-20 minutes keeping an eye on them as the sweet potato tends to burn rather quickly. You want it to be cooked all the way through and have lightly charred edges.
- In the meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl and cover with the chicken stock. You want the couscous to be just covered. Cover the bowl with a plate or clingwrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes until all the chicken stock has been absorbed.
- Fry the haloumi in1/2 cup oil until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the couscous.
- When the sweet potato is cooked, toss into the bowl as well followed by the fresh rocket.
- To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.
Mediterranean Delicacies can be found at select Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Spar, Fruit & Veg City and independent retailers nationwide.