Mandarin Cashew Couscous

 Sometimes, the simplest of dishes can turn out to be your favorite. Couscous is one of my favorites because it absorbs virtually all of the ingredients you blend it with. This salad is really easy to toss together, and can be served either warm or cold. My husband took this for his lunch, topping it with some vegan 'chicken', boom, easy, done!

Ingredients (serves 2-4):
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest (optional, just adds more orange flavor)
a pinch of sea salt

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 handful of cilantro, chopped (about 1/8 cup; you can also use green onion if you don't like cilantro)
1 handful of chopped cashews (about 1/4 cup)
1 mandarin orange, peeled and roughly chopped
1/8 cup raisins, or 4-5 dates, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp lemon, or lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
a few grinds of pepper

1) Bring the couscous, juice, zest and salt to boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat, cover, and allow to sit for several minutes, or until all of the juice is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and toss with all of the other ingredients. Serve warm, or cold and enjoy!

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