Spring is (almost) here!

Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous saladI was so convinced that spring had arrived a couple weeks ago. The sun was shining, the cherry blossoms on my street are starting to bloom, flowers are springing up from the ground…BUT living in Vancouver, that’s just never the case. The sun never lasts for long because the rain comes or in this week’s case, the cold! I think it’s down to 0 or 2 degrees or something aka unacceptable.

But my mind has not shifted from those clear blue sunny skies we had just weeks ago; I think I am rooted in the spring mindset so much so that spring has entered my kitchen. Doesn’t my roasted asparagus, baby gai lan and double couscous salad scream “springtime” to you?

I was out with my friends on the weekend celebrating St Patrick’s Day slash watching the Canucks game when I missed a call from my mom. I literally just missed so the call so naturally, I dialed her back right away. Knowing my mom, this tactic will not work. Why? Because she will not pick up because she will be too busy leaving a voicemail…which, of course, was very true in this case. No matter urgent (or not urgent it is), she will always leave a voicemail. This time she passed on the message to me that T&T was having a killer sale on asparagus. I haven’t had vegetables in my fridge for what seems like forever so I jumped on this opportunity. Turned out to be $1.29/lb which is great since they’re usually at $3.99/lb atleast… They also store well in the fridge for a few days as well – plus, they make your pee stink! Ha!

I also had picked up another bag of organic lemons from the Saturday market and god knows that asparagus and lemon are a matchmade in heaven (and also rhyme together). I had a salad in mind, originally with some romaine hearts I had in the fridge but I decided to scrap that idea and go for a warm salad instead. Knowing me, I had to bulk it up a little. I had a box of whole wheat couscous and a small 1/2 cup of Israeli couscous leftover — why not combine them? Turned out to be a fabulous idea. Roasted asparagus, leftover steamed and chopped baby gai lan, a little lemon… done.

I hope you find this salad as refreshing as I did! Tastes amazing on its own; might even be better with crumbled goat cheese if you swing that way. Yum!
Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous salad Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous salad Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous salad Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous salad Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous saladRoasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous salad

What you’ll need:
– 1lb asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped into 1″ pieces
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
– 1/4 cup Israeli couscous
– 1 1/2 cups homemade stock
– 1 cup baby gai lan, steamed and diced
– 1 lemon, zested and juiced

What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or aluminum foil.
2. Toss your asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and place onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Set aside.
3. While your asparagus is roasting, make your couscous. Heat the oil until hot over medium-high heat and add kinds of couscous until it is fully coated. Add the stock, bring to a boil and set the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Couscous and Israeli couscous have different cooking times and I would actually cooking them separately next time — or just make sure to stir every 5 minutes to ensure that you aren’t getting any clumping or sticking couscous to the pot. Or just use a non stick pan.
4. Once the couscous is cooked, combine everything into a mixing bowl and fold all of the ingredients together. Makes an excellent side dish or 4 servings.

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