Lunch can be a tricky meal of the day to conquer. Many of us live busy lives and don’t have much time to prepare healthy and nutritious lunches – but let’s be honest, those same old sandwiches and store brought lunches are getting boring! If you are stuck in a lunch rut and need some inspiration give this recipe from the Glycemic Index Foundation a try. This couscous salad is a delicious and versatile meal. It is a vegetarian based dish but can be varied to add different meats and proteins of your preference. Give it a go and get creative!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4- 6


185 g (61/2 oz/1 cup) couscous

170 g (6 oz/1 cup) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

50 g (13/4 oz/ 1/2 small bunch) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped

40 g (11/2 oz/ 1/2 small bunch) coriander, leaves picked and chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 red capsicum (pepper), chopped

1/2 green capsicum (pepper), chopped

180 g (61/4 oz/1 cup) chopped mixed dried fruit, such as apricots, dates, currants, figs

2 tablespoons pistachio nuts

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Black pepper, ground


  1. Make the couscous according to the packet instructions—you should end up with about 450 g (1 lb/2 cups) cooked couscous. Make sure the couscous is quite dry before using it.
  2. Put the couscous in a large serving bowl and combine with the chickpeas, herbs, cumin, capsicums, dried fruit, pistachios and pine nuts.
  3. To make the dressing, add the oil and lemon juice in a screw-top jar. Season with pepper and shake well, then pour over the couscous salad and toss to coat.

Note: For all of you meat eaters out there, some cooked lean chicken or pork works well with this recipe!


Nutritional information per serve:

1029 kJ (245 Cal), 13 g fat (saturated 1 g), 6 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 12 mg sodium


We would love to see your take on this recipe! Please share your delicious home made versions in the comments below or send us a photo on our Facebook or Instagram page. Happy cooking  

Recipes and image from The Low GI Cookbook, Hachette Australia.