For those of us who strive to live healthier lifestyles by working on cleaning up our diet, it can be a slightly challenging task when we are constantly surrounded by lots of burgers, pasta, barbeque meat, more meat, and starchy bread. And did I mention meat? Oh, and no vegetables in sight either. Now, I love all kinds of food for all the taste (and sometimes lots of sugar and fats) they have to offer because I believe that moderation is important. Nevertheless, oftentimes I find myself in situations that require lots of mingling, integrating, and feasting together with other beloved people in my life. Being with those people is a wonderful feeling, and nothing can replace the blessings that I receive from that.
However, all of this means some denial of self for the sake of being with other people, because I’m not one to condone packing a whole feast for myself unless I’m feeling very achy. Besides, in certain groups and cultures, having your own food while not sharing it with others is just unheard of, at least not in communal gatherings! That’s particularly the case in Asian cultures. In other words, I think it’s okay to be honest with other people that I prefer to eat meat and bread in moderation because I feel better overall by doing that. Although I don’t have full-blown stomach issues like some of my dear blogging friends (praise God she’s been healed), I do have to face the fact that I have to always be careful with that I eat. Or else…my stomach will shut down and all of my “mingling with other people” plan will easily go down the tubes.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (and I don’t mean to be a downer and redundant so forgive me!), my stomach often reacts when I eat certain foods, especially if I eat certain amounts of it. I’ve been doing on and off test trials with different foods and ingredients for over a year now. But of course, I still eat pretty much everything that is being offered to me—but with moderation.
Yesterday I decided to go ahead and make myself something fresh, light, and full of flavor.
This past week has been a whirlwind of blessings and constant running around, and to our dismay, that means less sleep and less fresh food. But fear not! Because in the midst of a busy week, one can easily eat fresh and wholesome foods with some extra preparation, and without sacrificing fellowship with others. So in order to remedy too much meat consumption (which doesn’t settle well in my stomach), I sweated and toiled some more to toss this tasty salad into healthy perfection right in my own kitchen.
Israeli Couscous Salad with Capers
I used Israeli Couscous in this salad for extra chewy texture, but it can easily be substituted with regular Couscous. Just make sure to watch the cooking time because it will differ from this recipe.
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 C water+1/2 C Israeli Couscous
- 1/2 C fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 C roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 C onion, chopped
- 1/2 C red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/4 C capers, drained
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- Pour the 1C water in a small pot and bring it up to a boil. Add the Couscous and turn down the heat so it simmers for about 8 minutes, while gently stirring the Couscous from time to time. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool down.
- In a medium-large bowl, toss together the parsley, seeds, onion, bell pepper, capers, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and oil.
- Cube the avocado and put it in the salad bowl last so it doesn’t get mashed up. Add the Couscous and gently toss it together. Transfer to a plate and enjoy it with hummus and bread, or as a side dish.
Something about fresh salads with olive oil and parsley take me back in time to Greece and all of those wonderful Mediterranean countries! Okay so I’ve never been to Greece before, but I have been there in my mind. Whenever Greg and I discussed our honeymoon plans and potential honeymoon destination, I would bring up Greece along with other countries like France. For some reason, Greece never intrigued him as much as it did for me, so obviously we ended up in beautiful Kauai—which we absolutely loved.
Someday I’ll end up in Greece though, someday…But for now, I’ll enjoy Mediterranean style dishes because they are some of my absolute favorites! Not only are they delicious, but they’re great for people with a sensitive stomach.
Have a fantastically blessed day everyone! Be healthy, be joyful, and be a blessing!
What are your favorite Mediterranean dishes? (Or Mediterranean inspired)
Do you normally struggle with eating certain foods when you’re in a big crowd? If so, what’s the reason?
-It’s not always easy for me because I have a hard time digesting certain foods, although I can’t quite pinpoint at the source of the problem nor the exact food (except for too much meat and bread). But I don’t want to be disrespectful, so sometimes I have to communicate with others why I’m not eating as much as they’d like me to, and sometimes I’ll just suck it up and eat in moderation. Of course, the food can be so tasty that moderation isn’t even an option at times.