Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right balance between easy, healthy, and delicious food. And when your life is constantly in motion, just finding the time to cook can be a pain, too. Luckily, my cookbooks are full of simple, quick meals with the health-conscious movers and shakers among you in mind.
The Mediterranean Bowl is one of my favorites and it’s quick and can also be made it advance and packed for lunch. It’s from The DASH Diet Cookbook. DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,” but what it means is dishes made with whole foods, low sodium, and the right balance of macro- and micro-nutrients for weight loss and lowering blood pressure. This Mediterranean-style salad, with fresh herbs and feta cheese, is a perfect easy salad for spring time.
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous (Quinoa is my favorite gluten-free option)
- 1 1/4 cups water (2 cups if using quinoa)
- 1 (16 oz.) can artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup rinsed, drained, and pitted kalamata olives
- 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of chile pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cracked black pepper
Boil the water, add the couscous, stir, and turn the heat off. Cover the pot with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes, and fluff with a fork prior to serving.
Combine all ingredients, except the cooked couscous, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes, and then fold in the couscous. Serve cold, or at room temperature.
Serving Suggestions: Great for a healthy lunch on-the-go or quick dinner. Or can be served as a side along with a lean protein.
HEALTH TIP: Many jarred olives come in a brining liquid packed with salt. Just rinse and drain the olives to remove much of the salt.