Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

a3 Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

What I love about summer is the longer daylight hours.  Well, it doesn’t hurt that the weather is conducive to light and flowy dresses too ha!  Since I have been trying to commit to more outdoor activities this year (i.e. more evening walks and picnics),  I have been spending more time out and about after work and less time in the kitchen cooking.  Hearty salads with lots of grains, legumes  and in this instance, couscous have been my favourite of late. All I need to do to make them fancy is to pair them with a store-bought roast chicken and toasted wholemeal wraps (so that they are crunchy) and voila, a hearty meal is ready in no time. Having said that, these salads are equally satisfying and filling on their own.

Making use of the abundance of apricots at the moment, I switched my usual salad ingredients i.e. avocado and cucumber with these beautiful stone fruits. They add sweetness and tanginess to the salad, not to mention their orange-yellow hues make the salad looked appetising. To finish off the salad, I added mint-garlic-lemon dressing to tie all the flavours together.  It turned out to be a light and refreshing meal.

a5 Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

 {wholemeal couscous courtesy of San Remo}

Chickpea, CousCous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

(For 2 -3 people as a main)

What you’ll need:-

For the mint dress:

  • 10g (0.4 ounces) mint leaves
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup  + 2 tsps olive oil
  • Juice of half of a large lemon (yielding about 2-3 tbsps of lemon juice)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A small food processor

Salad:

  • 100g (4 ounces) San Remo Wholemeal CousCous
  • 150ml (5 fl ounces) boiling hot water from a kettle
  • 400g (14 ounces) canned chickpeas, drained and rinse with boiling hot water
  • Hot water from a kettle to rinse the chickpeas
  • 2 fresh apricots, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 fairly large sized eshallot (alternatively, 1/4 red onion), peeled & thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsps dried cranberries
  • 100g (4 ounces) feta, crumbled

a12 Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

Method:-

Cook couscous according to the packet instructions. For San Remo Wholemeal CousCous, I added 150ml (5 fl ounces) of boiling hot water to the couscous in a small pot and let it steep for 15-20 minutes, covered with a lid. Set aside. Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients (excepts for 2 tsps olive oil) in a small processor and process until fairly smooth. Pour the dressing out of the processor into a bowl and top with 2 tsps of olive oil. Set aside.  Then move on to preparing the salad i.e. rinsing the chickpeas with boiling hot water and slicing the apricots and onions. In a large salad bowl, combine the couscous, chickpeas, sliced apricots and onions, dried cranberries and toss all these ingredients together with 2 tbsps of mint dressing.  To serve, crumble some feta and drizzle with more mint dressing. Enjoy with toasted wrap or pita bread with shredded roast chicken!

a2 Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Feta & Mint Salad

If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice I have a slight obsession with a monthly skincare beauty box subscription box called the Bella Box. Now my friend, Cyndie of Mslimalicious, has recently launched a food subscription boxes service in Australia called the “Europe in a Box” where subscribers will receive authentic imported gourmet European food and drink right to their doorsteps.  All of the products are branded as specialty food product which means they have been carerfully selected and tested for their quality.

If you are a food enthusiast who love surprises and discovering new European treats, why not head over to Europe in A Box to learn more about its subscription service.

Europe in a Box - 500

 

products_europeinabox - 500

 

Out & about: Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

a1 Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

Two weekends ago, we had a weekend getaway to Sydney. It has been a while since our last visit and we intentionally planned a trip which coincided with Chinese New Year. Sydney Chinatown is the place to be if you wish to experience the vibrance and festivity of Chinese New Year which includes the lion dance, firecrackers, parades and night markets. We went to Malay Village on 1 Dixon Street (cnr Goulburn Street) Sydney Chinatown for a Malaysian feast. This may not your typical food to celebrate Chinese New Year but I really missed Malaysian street food. We went for their teh tarik (“pulled milk tea”), roti canai and Hokkien mee. Dishes which reminded me of home and more.

a4 Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

 {interior}

a5 Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

{teh tarik}

a2 Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

{roti canai, $5.50}

a3 Malay Village, Sydney Chinatown

{hokkien mee: Penang prawn noodle soup serve with prawns, fish cake, boiled egg, kangkong and fried onion – $9.90 for lunch special}

 

Personal-Planner Giveaway Winners

Yes you read it right!

Due to the overwhelming entries of this giveaway, I have decided to increase from one winner to two, thanks to the owners at Personal-Planner.

So here are the two lucky winners:-

giveaway winner

The winners will also be notified via email and I have been advised that an e-giftcard is already sitting in your respective inbox.

Congrats to Cynthia and Little Poppet!  If you happen to read this, please check your inbox now.

I really appreciate all the entries. Do lookout for more giveaways to come.

And thanks for stopping by! :)