Mediterranean Couscous Salad

So today has been crazy.  Today was my first exam-grading-day as a TA.  It was quite the experience.  After finishing up a multiple page proof after (that was supposed to be done yesterday so today could be homework-free), I can barely hold a pencil anymore.  For that matter, I can barely type.  My hands hurt.  We spent at least 4 1/2 hours grading 200 exams after proctoring it.  I graded two pages . . . and I never want to write the words "common denominator" ever again.  Needless to say, I'm tired.  But on the plus side, I woke up this morning to find that I am a member of the AMS.  That's the American Mathematical Society, to all you non-math people out there.

Anyway, I promised myself that my reward would be blogging today, so even though I should probably be getting ready for tomorrow, here goes.
Somehow in amongst yesterday's topology homework and the modules for the research training tomorrow, I managed to find time to make a real dinner.  And when I say real dinner, I mean like from scratch and from a simple idea.
I started with the idea of a chickpea salad.  Chickpeas make me think of CJC.  I miss her.  I need to see her soon.  But yes, chickpeas.  I had a few peppers from our garden that we picked last weekend in case of frost, plus a cucumber from the garden.  I also got some local grape tomatoes and feta cheese.  That sounded pretty good to me.  Basic, but it worked.
But then I saw the Israeli couscous sitting on my shelf.  I hadn't made anything with couscous in a loooooong time, so I figured I might as well use some.
By the way, Israeli couscous is similar to normal couscous, but the grains are much bigger.  I like it better.  I am not a fan of all the tiny little pieces in regular couscous.  Somehow the bigger consistency appeals to me more.
And one innovation lead to another, so I ended up making some simple Greek dressing to go with it.
And it made like three meals worth.  Nothing wrong with having lunches for a few days.  Except that I miss my ricecakes.  Don't judge me.
And what other way is there to fill out a Mediterranean-themed meal than with pita bread and hummus?  Opa!

Chickpea and Couscous Salad

1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
oil, according to couscous cooking instructions
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
3 oz feta cheese

3 parts olive oil (I found 3 Tbsp to be about right)
1 part vinegar
Oregano, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste
Salt, to taste

Prepare couscous according to package directions.

Mix vegetables with drained chickpeas.

Make dressing by mixing oil and vinegar in something that pours easily.  Add spices and herbs to taste.  Stir well before adding to salad.

Let couscous cool, then add to vegetable and chickpea mixture.

Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss well.

Sprinkle each serving with feta cheese.


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