For the couscous:
- 200 g organic whole-grain couscous (use a gluten-free one if needed, I use Alnavit organic corn & ric couscous)
- 200 ml hot, but not boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of Ajvar (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- the juice ½ lemon
- 3 spring onions
- a good pinch of sea or rock salt and pepper
For the salad:
- 1 cucumber
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 jar or tin of chickpeas (240 g drained weight)
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 bunch of rocket salad
- two handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 handful of parsley
For the dressing:
- 8 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- the juice ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or rice syrup (or honey)
- ½ teaspoon sea or rock salt and pepper
- For the couscous, mix the hot water with Ajvar, salt and pepper and pour it over the couscous. Mix well and let it sit for five minutes. Season to taste with the olive oil and lemon juice and more salt and pepper if necessary.
- For the salad, cut all ingredients except rocket and baby spinach into bite-sized pieces and drain the chickpeas. Roughly chop the parsley and mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Wash the rocket and spinach well and spin-dry or dab dry.
- For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a leak-proof glass container.
- Divide the couscous between four lunch boxes, then add ½ bunch of rocket or a handful of baby spinach and finally fill it up with the salad (see photos).
- Add the dressing just before eating (approx. 2-3 tbsp. per salad), in order for the ingredients to stay fresh as long as possible.
- One last note: the recipe is designed to keep the individual ingredients fresh, hence the compartmentalization of the different salad componets. Everything should be eaten together of course, so when you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing in the bowl, put the lid on and shake carefully.
- Instead of ajvar, harissa or mojo rojo can also be used. All pastes are based on bell peppers and give the neutral-tasting couscous a heavenly aroma. You can get Ajvar, Harissa or Mojo Rojo a jar in any supermarket, I prefer to buy it in organic quality.
- If you like, you can marinate 200 g of diced tofu with 2 tablespoons of tamari, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and fry until golden brown. Place the tofu in a fourth layer next to the salad leaves in the lunch box.
- If you don’t have Ajvar or Mojo Rojo at hand, you can mix 2 tablespoons of tomato paste with 2 tablespoons of paprika powder, some olive oil and salt instead. You can also pour vegetable stock over the couscous instead of water. In this case, however, the additional salt must be omitted or reduced.
- Of course the recipe can be adapted to your eating habits. This recipe is vegan by nature, gluten-free and without refined sugar and therefore a good basis for many forms of nutrition.