My Citrus Maple Couscous Salad is a perfect healthy meal to have on its own or as an accompaniment to your main entree. This salad is vegan, soy free, and delicious!
Citrus Maple Couscous Salad
Citrus and maple is a magnificent combination! The robust sour citrus flavor mixed with the subtle maple sweetness harmoniously unite to form something incredible. I feel like Sweet & Sour has been “a thing” since the beginning of time. You really can’t go wrong with that flavor profile.
This has crunch from the roasted pumpkin seeds and carrots, chewiness from the raisins, tender kale, and soft fluffy couscous. It would be a great side dish to eat this summer with grilled food.
Couscous. What You Need To Know
Couscos is a “type of North African semolina in granules made from crushed durum wheat”. The durum wheat is rolled with salted water to form the granules. Traditionally it is steamed and served in a large serving bowl with some sort of stew spooned over top of it. The couscous soaks up all of the lovely juices from your stew giving it a ton of flavor.
In this recipe the couscous will soak up all of the citrus maple goodness from our vinaigrette! Couscous cooks very fast due to how small the granules are, so this is a perfect recipe to make if you’re in a time crunch.
Also, do not purchase the Israeli couscous. The granules in that type of couscous are much bigger and they have a different, more chewy, texture.
Jamaican Curry Powder vs. Indian Curry Powder
I use a little curry powder in the vinaigrette for this recipe. The spices and sweetness from the powder go very well with the citrus and maple. I prefer to use Jamaican curry powder in this recipe. In my opinion, Jamaican and Indian curry powders taste vastly different. From my experience, many of the Jamaican curry powders I have purchased have a stronger hint of sweetness than Indian curry powders. Also, Indian curries and Jamaican curries taste nothing alike, so there is definitely a difference in the flavor profiles.
Both curry powders have their place of course, and if you can only find Indian curry powder then by all means use it, but I do prefer the Jamaican style in this particular recipe.
Health Benefits Of This Meal
Pumpkin seeds caused a significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol in a study that was conducted a few years ago. Of course we all know kale has more health benefits than we can count! Researchers suggest that the supplementation of kale juice affected blood pressure, blood glucose, and lipid profiles in subclinical hypertensive patients. This finding suggests that kale juice intervention might be effective in plasma lipid profile control in the subgroup of hypertensive patients. Here is another study showing the positive effects kale has on lipids.
***NOTE: This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
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Citrus Maple Couscous Salad
- 2 cups uncooked couscous
- 1 ½ cups orange juice
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon jamaican curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- salt to taste
- 1 ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeno
- ½ tablespoon jamaican curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh kale chopped
- 1 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup raisins any kind you like
For the couscous, place all of the ingredients EXCEPT THE COUSCOUS in a pot and bring to a boil. While this liquid is coming to a boil, place the couscous in the baking dish. Make sure the couscous is spread evenly. Remove the boiling liquid from the pot and pour it over the couscous. Make sure all of the couscous is covered in liquid. Immediately wrap the baking dish with plastic wrap to hold in the heat and steam. Let this sit on the counter for 20 minutes, or until all of the couscous has absorbed the liquid. Set aside. You will have EXTRA couscous because we only use 2 cups in this recipe. You can add more couscous if you'd like.
Blend all of the dressing ingredients together until smooth.
In a large bowl add the kale. Use a fork, NOT A SPOON, to “fluff” your couscous. Gradually rake the fork through the couscous to separate them. Add about 2 cups of the couscous to the kale. Add the pepitas, rasisin, and dressing. Thoroughly mix everything and serve.