Grilled Vegetable and Spinach Couscous Salad

You should be proud. I'm adding a savory recipe to my repertoire. That's right - no sugar!

A colorful, hearty, tasty, feel-good salad! This is a great light lunch option or as a side dish. It's also a fantastic dish to make in larger quantities for lunch/dinner parties or picnics!

It encompasses so many flavors, textures and food groups that you won't even feel like you're eating a 'salad'.  From crispy, fresh spinach leaves, to salty, rich grilled vegetables, to the creamy, nutty couscous, topped with sweet, crunchy sunflower seeds and all rounded off with some tangy lemon juice... How could you possibly say no?

The veggies contribute to your five-a-day, the sunflower seeds add some belly-filling healthy fat and the couscous curb your carb cravings. The perfect meal in a bowl!

As with most recipes, this is just a starting point, so feel free to change up the vegetables, sprinkle different nuts/seeds, spice it up with your own dressing or even change the grain to quinoa or millet etc. Basically, this is just one (delicious!) example of a plethora of varieties.  

Serves 2 as a light lunch
1 large or 2 small zucchini
1 large eggplant
1 large red bell pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette 
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of mixed herbs (dried or fresh)
1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
2-3 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked couscous
1 tbsp lemon juice 

Slice the zucchini and eggplant into ovals (like you would if cutting them in rounds, but cut diagonally to lengthen). Similarly, slice the bell pepper into strips around 1 inch wide.
Place the sliced vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette on vegetables and toss around until each piece is well coated. Spring the salt, pepper and herbs and toss once again.
Put the bowl in the fridge for around 2 hours to let the marinade sink in and give the flavors time to meld together.
Once the veggies have had time to marinate, pull out your sandwich grill and heat it to medium heat. Place the veggies on the grill in a single layer and let them grill until cooked and slightly softened, but still firm. Grill marks are always nice! Continue to repeat until all veggies have been grilled. Keep them a single layer is paramount! Don't try to take as shortcut and just pile them up.
Get out two nice bowls (pretty food = tasty food!) and it's time to build the salad!
Put half the grilled veggies, half the spinach leaves and half the couscous in each bowl and toss to combine.
Drizzle around the lemon juice and mix one last time.
Sprinkle each serving with some sunflower seeds and voila!
It's time to enjoy the goodness in a bowl!

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