I’m a weekend slacker. If there’s anything better to do on a Saturday than scrub the shower, I’m on it.

The dishes will still be there on Monday.

The only real downside to this way of life is that the dishes are still here on Monday, waiting in the dishwasher, where they’ve been since Friday. Still dirty. (That was a surprise.)

On these Mondays, when it’s especially hard to get my act together, it helps to have a good lunch. Something light and whole that makes adulthood seem like the right choice again.

Like couscous salad.

Usually when I make a couscous salad, I add roasted vegetables or chickpeas and feta, but today I tried something new – whole wheat couscous tossed with juicy sliced peaches, watercress, thin slices of shallot and a simple vinaigrette dressing. For crunch, I sprinkled a small handful of purple-green pistachios on top.

I love this salad. At first, it’s like a crowd doing the chicken dance at a wedding. Everything seems awkward and so, so wrong. But then the magic takes over. The peppery watercress makes the peaches seem that much sweeter. And the pistachios are like little salty hidden presents waiting in the couscous.

It took less than 10 minutes to make this sophisticated meal, and most of that time was spent waiting for the water to boil. When you can go from zero to sophisticated that quickly, you have won the day.

And it gives you just enough time to put away the dishes.

Whole Wheat Couscous with Peaches and Pistachios

From Whole Foods Market

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
    Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 peaches or nectarines, diced
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed and leaves sliced (about 1 1/2 cups packed leaves)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk in olive oil in a thin steady stream until the dressing thickens.
  4. Add couscous, peaches, watercress, pistachios and shallots to bowl. Toss to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

Nutritional Info (Per Serving) – calories: 360, fat: 15g, carbs: 51g,  fiber: 9g, protein: 12g, PP+ = 8