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Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.
Today: Couscous gets its chance in the spotlight with this quick, spring lunch.
There’s nothing better than a lunch that can be ready in minutes, look and taste elegant, and fill you up quickly. This easy couscous salad fits the bill, and it’s perfect as a vehicle for spring produce -- in this case, I used tender steamed asparagus.
With all of the enthusiasm for quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and other ancient grains lately, couscous tends to get overlooked. While it may not be quite as nutrient-rich as quinoa, or hearty as millet, it’s just about the fastest-cooking lunchtime staple that you could possibly whip up. If you’re in the mood for something a little crunchy, go ahead and get the whole wheat variety.
More: Know your asparagus -- read these 5 links before cooking with the vegetable.
To make this salad, I steamed a bunch of asparagus that I’d cut into 1 1/2-inch spears. Meanwhile, the couscous cooked -- a process that only takes about 10 minutes. When the couscous was ready, I stirred in the asparagus, along with about a half cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a handful of toasted pine nuts. I finished the dish off with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and fresh chives. It was so good that I’d have been happy serving it to guests -- but I was delighted to have such great leftovers the following day.
Photo by Gena Hamshaw