Warm Bok Choy and Roasted Veggie Couscous Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing. Guest Post from Kristy Turner at Keepin’ It Kind

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I’m so delighted Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind is sharing a recipe with you today with this guest post. We’ve been blogging buddies from the very beginning (as she mentions below). If you haven’t all ready met Kristy, you need to head over to her site. The food and the photography will dispel any myths that vegans can’t eat a first class gourmet diet. All while using healthy and simple ingredients. This recipe today is one that I know I’d love, since bok choy is one of my favorite vegetables! Keep reading and I’ll share some links to my favorites from Kristy’s site at the end of this post.

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Firstly, I want to thank Somer for inviting me here today. I have admired Somer since BVO (Before Vedged-Out). As I’m sure you all already know, Somer’s passion is inspiring, her enthusiasm is contagious, and her food is delicious. I know that Somer hasn’t been her normal self due to an unfortunate injury so it is my pleasure and an honor to help her out today.

I’d really like to say that in the summer, all of my meals are filled with an abundance of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables but that would be a lie. The truth is, in the summer, my laziness is at an all-time high.

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This laziness creates a little bit of a back-up in my refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. I belong to a CSA and have a weekly box of organic, seasonal, and locally-grown produce delivered to my door. I love this delivery and look forward to it all week, but with my case of summer laziness, a lot of this produce just sits in my refrigerator until I can muster up enough ambition to do something with it.

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Normally, I use produce from this delivery throughout the week, spreading it out over several meals. A couple weeks ago, however, I realized that I had barely used any of my produce and I had another delivery coming the next day. My dislike for wasting food trumps my laziness any day of the week so I pulled all of the unused produce out and created a super-easy meal packed with seasonal veggies. I roasted up some mushrooms, summer squash, broccoli and green beans. I briefly sautéed some baby bok choy with red cabbage and shallots. I tossed all of the veggies, along with a grain, with an incredibly simple, ridiculously delicious lemon caper dressing (seriously, it comes together in less than a minute). My husband and I could not get over how good this meal was. We even loved it as leftovers a couple days later. We loved it so much that I had to make it again.

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Originally I made this dish with freekeh, a grain similar to barley, but for recipe-creation purposes, I chose to use something a little more common. This salad would be great with quinoa, millet, farro, barley, or freekeh (if you have some on hand) but for this version, I chose israeli (or pearl) couscous. I love this chewy little pasta/grain and it worked beautifully in this dish.

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The star of this meal, though, is the lemon caper dressing. As I mentioned before, it’s stupid easy and this salty, tart dressing adds quite the little “zing” to every bite. If you wanted to add a little bit of protein to the meal, you could easily incorporate some chickpeas or another legume. You could also add/substitute other veggies if these don’t float your boat- roasted eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower or even asparagus would all work really well here.

This, my friends, is a perfect summer meal because a.) It’s packed with healthy veggies, b.) it’s delicious, and c.) it’s easy to make and comes together very quickly so you I have plenty of time to be lazy.

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warm bok choy and roasted veggie couscous salad with lemon caper dressing

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

for the roasted veggies

  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and chopped into 1/2 inch-thick half-moons
  • 1 pound fresh green beans (or purple or yellow beans), ends trimmed and chopped in half
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets (stems can be included if desired)
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the bok choy and cabbage

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 bunches baby bok choy, bulb end trimmed
  • 1/2 head of red/purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the couscous

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup israeli couscous (or other grain)

for the lemon caper dressing

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

Instructions

roast the veggies

  • Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the veggies out over the two baking sheets. Lightly spray them with olive oil (or drizzle with olive oil) and sprinkle the herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to fully coat.
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.

cook the couscous

  • Once the veggies are in the oven, you can prepare the couscous. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Once it is boiling, add the salt then the couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for about 15 minutes before checking. At this point, the water should have cooked away and you can fluff the couscous with a fork. If there is still water, cover and let sit until water has cooked away (You may have to drain some of the water at the end). Let sit until ready to use.

prepare the dressing

  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a cup wide enough to fit an immersion blender. Use an immersion blender to puree the capers and blend all of the ingredients together until it is mostly smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a blender, but you will likely have to scrape the sides several times until it is mostly smooth. Chill until ready to use.

cook the bok choy and cabbage

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy and cabbage and sauté until just beginning to wilt. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

assemble the salad

  • Combine the veggies, the couscous, and the bok choy/cabbage mixture in a large bowl. Give it a couple stirs to incorporate the ingredients a little more. Pour the dressing over the salad (You may need to re-stir the dressing if it has separated at all) and mix until it is all fully combined. Serve immediately. You can make this a day or two ahead of time but you may want to reheat slightly before serving. Enjoy.

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Photography by Chris Miller

Thank you for having me here, Somer, and thank all of you for stopping by and reading! Have a great day! :-)

Kristy Turner

To view more of Kristy’s incredible creations (these are just some of my favorites), click on any of the following links.

Clockwise: Sweet and Salty Ice Cream Layer Cake, Strawberry Shortcake Waffles, Jackfruit Enchiladas, Sunflower Cheddar, Seitan Mushroom Roast, S’more Cookies, Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Buffalo Cauliflower Wing PizzaButternut Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Pecan ParmesanChickpea Caulipots with Miso Mushroom Gravy

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13 comments

  1. love this bowlful of goodness and those pretty couscous. That is one reason i stop my csa delivery during summer:) too many other things happening to plan and finish the produce. :) I usually start putting a few veggies in every Dal till they get used up.

  2. That dressing sounds amazing! I just bought a bag of freekeh and have yet to cook with it, maybe the best thing would be to just cook up a bunch of veggies and freekeh with some of your amazingly sounding dressing!

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