Middle Eastern Lentil and Couscous Bowls
with tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad
These bright, colorful bowls get an extra flavorful finish from za'atar-spiced yogurt. Like most grain bowls, these can easily be customized to add any extra produce that you're finding at the farmer's market or in your own garden!
- Stock, any type - 1 cup (sub water)
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Couscous, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Za'atar - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 3/4 cup
- Baby spinach - 2 oz, chopped
- Lentils, pre-cooked - 1 1/2 cups (look for vacuum-packed or canned)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Mustard, Dijon - 1/4 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, medium - 1, diced
- Cucumbers - 10 oz, diced
- Avocados - 1, chopped
- Make couscous - (Double if making Wednesday’s meal.) Combine stock, salt, and butter in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover with lid. Let stand for ~5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Whisk shallots with mustard and vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make za’atar yogurt - Stir za’atar and lemon juice into yogurt. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Spinach / Tomatoes / Cucumbers - Prep as directed. Store spinach in one container. Combine tomatoes and cucumbers in another container. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Avocados - Chop avocados.
- Make salad - Toss tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados with vinaigrette. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Lentils - If using canned lentils, drain and rinse.
- Heat a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add lentils and spinach with coriander and cumin. Saute until lentils are fragrant and spinach is wilted, ~5 minutes.
- If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
- Assemble bowls with couscous topped with lentils. Add tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad and finish with za’atar yogurt.
So good, and without the skewers this was so quick and easy. I was tempted to skip the vinaigrette because oranges with vinegar sounded unappealing, but I trusted Cook Smarts and, as always, was glad I did.0 Helpful
Tempting to subtract a star because of the higher than average prep work but it ended up tasting delicious. Fresh made cauliflower rice was at least as good as store bought and mixed well with the citrus salad. The fish was amazing on the grill. I had to order Za'atar spice online. The salad of citrus and avocado was an unexpected combination for me and it tasted great with the vinaigrette. Very filling. Final note, I used a mixture of grapefruit and orange in the salad which worked well.0 Helpful
Added olives and harissa. Love the yogurt sauce. Would add more spinach next time.0 Helpful
Made vegetarian lentils (overcooked my lentils, but mushy with spinach and spices was still delicious), plus skillet cooked lemon salmon. Caramelized the shallot for dressing and it was amazing, salad was the best part of my meal. Will make citrus salad version at some point.0 Helpful
Didn't bother with the skewers, and it was still lovely. The salad was unusual but pretty good.0 Helpful
This was a big hit in our home. The lemon flavor was amazing on the salmon.0 Helpful