Whoa! We’re just flying through January! Kristian and I took some time off between Christmas and New Years to relax and recharge (read: do all the housework and chores). I did manage to read a couple of really great books over the holidays, to sleep in on occasion — and to eat my weight in this roasted brussels sprout and couscous salad.
Packed with dark leafy greens, crispy roasted brussels sprouts, fluffy couscous, creamy avocado and a super simple vinaigrette — this salad is nutrient-dense, filling and delicious. And best of all, it doesn’t FEEL like you’re eating a salad. It feels hearty and warming and cozy, which is exactly what my body craves when it’s below freezing outside.
And though I’m not one to set New Years resolutions, a big bowl full of green sure does look pretty amazing after the overly indulgent holidays. Know what I mean?
Right now, my life = avocado everything. Chopped up into salads, smashed on toast (with a poached egg of course), blended into smoothies… eaten with a spoon… Wait, I didn’t say that. Shh.
Avocados are high in fat, but it’s the good-for-you kind of fat — heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, the same fats found in olive oil, that are also believed to reduce inflammation. They’re also packed with fiber and potassium.
And my biggest draw (besides how delicious they are) — the fat in them can actually help your body absorb nutrients from plant-based foods. Eating your veggies, and lots of them, is super important to your health, and so is being able to absorb all of their nutrients — including vitamins A, D, E and K. These fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved in fat, unlike other vitamins which dissolve in water. To make sure you’re benefiting from them, include heart-healthy fats like avocado and olive oil in your daily meals.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup dry couscous
- ½ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup tahini or hummus
- Up to ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Preheat your oven to 400 F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, or line with foil. Prepare the brussels sprouts by trimming off a bit of the root end and peeling off any damaged leaves. Chop in half making sure to chop through the root, keeping two in-tact halves, and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining brussels sprouts. Drizzle with teh olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through -- until they're browned but not burnt.
- COUSCOUS: While the brussels sprouts are roasting, add your couscous, water and salt to a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat -- leaving the cover on for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
- SALAD: Mix the tahini or hummus with the apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. You can add more or less vinegar to make it the consistency you like best. Fill four bowls with the lettuce. Top each with ¼ of the avocado, couscous, and roasted brussels sprouts. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.