Whole Living Daily

Lunch Bunch: Beet and Avocado Salad, Wild Mushroom Couscous, and Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

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The best way to get to know your co-workers is to do something together that doesn't involve work talk. Usually this means happy hour or (yikes) trust falls, but I'm grateful that the team here has come up with a fun, casual weekly tradition that doesn't result in hangovers or bruises. I joined Whole Living less than a month ago, and Lunch Bunch has quickly become my favorite thing about Monday. Not only am I getting to know my colleagues, but trying new dishes every week is taking me out of my culinary comfort zone and altering firmly-held-since-childhood beliefs about certain veggies. So please excuse me while I call my parents and tell them I'm reconsidering my position on beets.

Beet, Avocado, and Arugula Salad with Sunflower Seeds

(from the Three-Day Action Plan Reboot!)

Ingredients

2 beets, peeled and grated or thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, seeded, thinly sliced
2 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced
For Each Serving
1 packed cup baby arugula
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 avocado, diced
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
Directions

In a large bowl, toss beets, celery, cucumber, and scallions.
To serve, toss 2 cups slaw with arugula, oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with avocado and seeds.

Wild Mushroom Couscous

(Adapted from "Cooking in Everyday English" by Todd English)

Ingredients

3 cups assorted shitake and cremini mushrooms, chopped

½ cup yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups Israeli couscous

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 can garbanzo beans

¾ cup raisins

½ cup feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the garlic and onions for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for about five minutes. Add the couscous and vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, cooking for 15 more minutes until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a large bowl. In a separate pan, cook garbanzo beans and raisins until just heated through. Stir garbanzo beans and raisins into couscous mixture and sprinkle feta on top.

Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts.
With moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on two baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

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