Recipe – Giant couscous salad with charred veg & pesto

Following the latest research published in The Lancet regarding post-menopausal woman having higher fasting blood glucose, sugar intake and poorer sleep, leaving women at high risk of heart disease, I thought I’d offer a high fibre recipe I love. Fibre is proven to support heart health and reduce risk of heart disease, stroke and colorectal cancer.


  • 2-3 raw beetroot (320g), peeled and chopped
  • 3 red onions (320g), cut into wedges 
  • 2 green or orange peppers, deseeded and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 320g cherry tomatoes
  • 200g wholewheat giant couscous
  • For the pesto
  • 7g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 15g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g pine nuts, lightly toasted


  • STEP 1 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a bowl, toss the beetroot, onions and peppers together with the oil, then spread out on a large roasting tray lined with baking paper and roast for 35 mins. Scatter over the cherry tomatoes, then return to the oven for 10 mins more until the tomatoes have softened and the vegetables are tender.
  • STEP 2 Meanwhile, cook the couscous following pack instructions, then rinse and drain. To make the pesto, put the coriander and half the parsley in a bowl with the garlic, chilli, cumin, vinegar, oil and 25g of the pine nuts. Add 2 tbsp water, then blitz with a hand blender until smooth or use a small food processor.
  • STEP 3 Toss the roasted veg and chopped parsley through the couscous and pile on the pesto, then scatter with the remaining pine nuts.

The beetroot here is rich in folate, iron, manganese and potassium and a chemical called betalain, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beetroot is also rich in nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure.

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