Italian Couscous Summer Salad & Grilled Balsamic Chicken

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

I hope y’all have had a great week.

It’s been really hot the past few days here in Texas and according to the weatherman it’s only going to get hotter.  Yuck!  Is anyone else ready for Autumn?  I really don’t enjoy August heat it just puts me in a funky mood.  I’m hungry but nothing sounds good and the last thing I feel like doing it standing over a stove top cooking dinner.  Honestly I just want to hibernate in the AC until October.  I love that first cold front of Autumn…. When I can light the fireplace and cozy up with a bowl of Boeuf Bourguignon.  *Sigh*

But no matter how much I click my heels together and wish for cool October weather it’s still HOT and it’s still August.  So how do I beat this 104 degree Texas heat?  With my Italian Couscous Summer Salad….

This salad is super easy to make and requires ZERO cooking skills.  All you have to do is dice up all the produce, dump it in a bowl, pour in 2 cups *uncooked* couscous and let it set in the refrigerator for 4 hours.  The couscous absorbs all the juices from the tomatoes, peppers, and lemon, and becomes simply wonderful.  Serve this Italian Couscous Summer Salad on its own or along side a quick grilled balsamic chicken.  I use thin chicken breast cutlets to cut the cooking time in half so I don’t have to stand over a hot grill for longer then necessary since it’s already hot enough outside.

Enjoy!

P.S. How do you beat the heat?

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Italian Couscous Summer Salad 

Ingredients:

1 Small Red Onion, diced

1 Clove Garlic, grated

1 Lemon, Zest and Juice

6-9 Red, Yellow, and Orange Baby Bell Peppers, chopped*

1 – 14.oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes and their juice.

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1-2 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes

1 Cup Green Olives, sliced in half

2 Cups of Couscous (uncooked)

1 Bunch Fresh Basil, torn

10-12 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 or 1/4

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*Note: I like using sweet baby bell peppers in this recipe because I love all the colors, I think they have a thinner skin and they are easy to prep.

 Directions: 

Add all of the above ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but over night is even better. Fluff with a fork and taste for additional seasoning serve cold or at room temperature.

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Quick Balsamic Grilled Chicken:

4 – 6 Thin Chicken Breasts, placed in a large zip top bag

Balsamic Marinade

Ingredients: 

1 Garlic Clove, Grated

3/4 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1-2 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds, (toasted and crushed up in a mortar and pestle)

1/2 Teaspoon Italian Herb Blend Seasoning

Salt and Pepper

1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions: 

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized measuring cup then slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup olive oil.  Taste the marinade for seasoning then pour over the chicken.  Marinate for 15-20 minutes while you pre-heat the grill.

Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through.

Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

17 thoughts on “Italian Couscous Summer Salad & Grilled Balsamic Chicken

  1. Mel, what a crazy good idea with the couscous! I never knew it would soften on its own that way. To beat the heat here, we’ve just been doing either grilling, salads, or sandwhiches/wraps. I know what you mean by not being that hungry. The heat just takes away your appetite, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha normally Blue Bell is the ONLY ice cream found in my freezer…. But since March Blue Bell has been on recall and is no where to be found. On a happy note they just started production back and should return shortly. I would give anything for some of their mint chip ice cream right now 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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