Whole Living Daily

Lunch Bunch: Wheat Berry Spinach Salad, Israeli Couscous, Balsamic Peaches, and More

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We've said it before and we'll say it again ... it was a unanimous decision that today's menu was one of the best combinations we've had at Lunch Bunch.  All the flavors mixed together well, and tasted just like summer. Since we're always cooking for a large crowd, the recipes from today are easy to tweak depending on how many people you're feeding.

Israeli Couscous with Mint and Lemon

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
8 ounces Israeli or pearl couscous
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, and cook until al dente. Drain, and drizzle with just enough oil to coat. Spread on a baking sheet, and refrigerate 10 minutes.

Combine couscous and remaining ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Wheat Berry Spinach Salad

1 cup cooked wheat berries
Baby spinach
Fresh mozzarella
2 cups fresh blueberries

Ginger Ale Vinaigrette

4 ounces ginger ale
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper

Cauliflower and Bean Salad
2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
2 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced thin
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup feta, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread cauliflower onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, until golden brown. Stir halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, add olive oil and rosemary to a small stockpot and heat on low until rosemary becomes fragrant. Let cool. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together lemon juice and zest, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking to form a vinaigrette.

In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, beans, endive, walnuts and feta. Add the vinaigrette until salad is well-dressed. There may be extra vinaigrette.

Balsamic Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream
Fresh peaches
Balsamic vinegar
Vanilla ice cream

Mix equal parts sugar and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over sliced peaches. Let sit for a few hours. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Photography by Jillian Guyette

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