Salads are a great way to have a healthy lunch or dinner in the summertime. When built with organic fruit and vegetables, salads help give your body the nutrients it needs. Organic fruits and vegetables are higher in nutrients which fills you up, making you less likely to over-eat. When you aren't over-eating, you can easily maintain or lose weight. It all depends on your goals. Plus, since you are full longer, it means you are saving money since you are less likely to want to eat again in just a couple of hours. When watermelon is in season, it is easy to find it on sale or at low prices. So I highly recommend making this salad when you see a sale on watermelon.
Did you know that organic vegetables and fruits with the USDA symbol are 95% non-GMO? That's right! You can also look for the Non-GMO Project verification symbol to ensure the products you are buying are free from GMOs. I am seeing the Non-GMO Project symbol on more and more products in the local grocery store. I even saw it on potato chips! It's great that more manufacturers are making the effort to deliver GMO free products.
Since watermelon has been in season, it made perfect sense to make a salad around it. Watermelon has many health benefits. It is high in Lycopene, which is an antioxidant shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease. Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of magnesium and potassium. Both magnesium and potassium are necessary to balance blood pressure. Watermelon can help you lose or maintain your weight because it has only 49 calories in one cup! (Source: World's Healthiest Foods)
I paired the watermelon with cucumbers, blanched broccoli, couscous and feta cheese. For the couscous, I used pearl couscous. It is a hearty couscous which helps add to the bulk of the salad. Couscous is made from the same flour as pasta - semolina. It cooks in 10 minutes making it a great grain to use in salads.
I drizzled the salad with a little olive oil. Since the watermelon is sweet, I didn't want to put a vinaigrette dressing on it. Although a balsamic dressing could go well with this, if you so choose. I felt the balance of the broccoli, cucumbers and feta cheese gave the salad a nice balance of sweet and savory.
The salad comes together quickly but you will want it to cool in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to combine. You can place the salad on a bed of salad greens, such as arugula or mixed baby greens. It is also delicious just by itself.
The recipe below serves 4. If you make my Watermelon Feta Couscous salad, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes! If you'd like to receive healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
TIME: 30 minutes for cook & prep time; 3-4 hours for cooling
1 cup pearl couscous
4 cups of chopped watermelon
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets and chopped stems
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1) Cook the couscous according to the directions. Let cool.
2) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
3) Chop the broccoli. Once the water is boiling, put the broccoli in and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the broccoli and run cold water on it to stop the cooking process.
4) Chop the watermelon and cucumber. Place in a large bowl.
5) Add the blanched broccoli once cooled.
6) Add feta cheese. Stir to combine.
7) Add cooled couscous, salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
8) Pour olive oil on to the salad. Stir.
9) Place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to combine.
10) Serve either by itself or place on top of a bed of arugula or any other salad green that you like.