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March 20, 2011

Today was officially the last day of the NCAA tournament. Hooray!

While others were putting together their brackets, I ran around like a mad woman prepping and cooking food for the tournament.  I was never into college basketball, but now I’m really NOT into it.

Anyways, now that it’s over, it’s time to get my life back to normal!!  Not that I am normal, but as normal as I can be.

When I got home today, I purged my fridge of anything that was unidentifiable.  That was a bit scary.  Be glad I did not take pictures of that. Seriously.

I was left with some celery, half a head of cabbage, a few Brussels sprouts, a sweet potato, a russet potato, and green onions.

Channeling my inner “Chopped” or “Top Chef” mentality, I needed to make something out of nothing.

Aside from the vegetables I had a little bit of leftover cous cous in the fridge and decided to base my dinner off of that.

I was thinking “warm cous cous salad” and went from there.

I took a handful of walnuts from my freezer and gave them a rough chop.

Then I honed in some knife skills and julienned a shallot.

Then I peeled and cubed a sweet potato.

I tossed the cubed potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them slowly in a 350 degree F oven.

I also shredded a quarter of the remaining half head of cabbage.

I chopped up all the green onions that I had and set them aside.

Ok so method to my madness…

I heated up some olive oil in a pan and toasted the chopped walnuts.

Once nice and toasty, I removed them [leaving the oil] and set them aside.

In the same pan with the same oil, I added the shallots and caramelized them.

**Notice how the oil became infused with the toasted walnuts from the beginning! Developing flavor my friends.**

I removed the shallots and set them aside as well.

Then in went the shredded cabbage.

I sauteed that up, adding salt and pepper, until cooked but still crisp.

Then everything went into the bowl with the cous cous.

That is what I’d like to call an insanely delicious party in a bowl.

I definitely wanted to make some version of a dressing for the party in a bowl.  So I gathered some ingredients and grabbed a mason jar.

[Side note]: Mason jars make excellent dressing containers.

In the jar went, whole grain mustard, cranberry pear vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, garlic, Koroneiki [Greek EVOO].

SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!!!!

Pour….

Toss it all together.

This was no lie, one of the best cous cous salads I’ve ever made. I cannot stop eating it. I’m not sure whether its the toasted walnut oil or the vinaigrette but it’s SO good!

The sweet potatoes that I roasted were served alongside the cous cous.

I actually ended up mixing the sweet potatoes in with the cous cous as I was eating it.  They made them it even better!

Gosh, it’s good to cook at home again.

I need to get to Trader Joe’s tomorrow to restock my fridge. I can’t wait.  My wallet can.

But for now, it’s time to relax in bed and recoup from a long week.

Have a good night!!

Question: Have you made anything lately that surprised you with how good it was???

This one definitely surprised me. I was on the phone with my friend at the time and said out loud “I think I just made the best cous cous salad ever.”

Vanessa 🙂

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