Tomato Basil “Caprese” Couscous


I feel like it’s been so long since we last talked (??? yeah, we’ll call it talked) but can you believe it’s only been a week?? I guess that’s what long weekends do to you!

How was your 4th?!!? This was my first holiday on snapchat so it was secretly really fun getting a peek into all my friends and favorite bloggers celebrations over the weekend.

Buuuuttttt then it also made me realize how creepy snapchat can be, since I knew what all these people were doing, like ALL day long, but we’ll save that conversation for another day 😉

So let me tell you about my weekend. Because it was FABULOUS.


Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //


Nate and I traveled up to the Finger Lakes in NY State to spend the holiday weekend with his extended family at the lake. This also happened to be the first time I met this side of the family— which was long overdue, especially with our wedding being in OCTOBER (eee!!) — so we knew we were in for quite a weekend before we even arrived.

Let me start by saying, Nate’s family is packed full of personality. While my family is pretty laid back and relaxed during holiday get-togethers, his family pulls out ALL the stops at their reunions— like I’m talking musical performances, enormous feasts, and lively conversation throughout.

Let me give you a mental picture: My first night, I was welcomed into the family with a “rap” (yes, you read that right, a RAP) written and performed by all his cousins (which was hilarious and ridiculously well written). Like, I think they need to record it and make lots of money because we were all dying laughing at all their rhymes and jokes.

And the fun (and surprises) didn’t stop there!


Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //


Nate’s mom and aunt are both an amazing vegan cooks, so there were three meals a day packed with fresh summer salads, blueberry spelt waffles, veggie-loaded casseroles, fresh gazpacho, homemade veggie burgers, and best of all, CAKE. Ohhh those cakes! I swear they were some of the best vegan cake I’ve ever tasted.

So I’m sure you can assume I was in all my glory just eating my way through the weekend!

When I wasn’t shoveling delicious food into my mouth, we spent time chatting with all the relatives, hanging by the lake, going out on the boat, oh, and more eating.


Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //


To cap off our weekend, on our last night Nate and I were surprised with a “pop up wedding shower” thrown by all the family members. They each brought a gift that represented what “fun” meant for them in their marriage or their life and shared these with us in what was the most picturesque place we could be (looking out onto that gorgeous lake at sundown).

Some shared a material gift, like cooking gadgets or a game or dog toys, while others played a song on the guitar or shared a handwritten book of advice on how to keep “fun” in your marriage (ohhh, and lots of summer squash 😉 )— it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

So much love and generosity and pure joy (and talent) in one seriously special evening. I felt so lucky to be a part of it and so grateful to become a part of such a close-knit family. It’s definitely a weekend Nate and I will never forget and will cherish this time with family for years to come!


Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //


Whew— thanks for listening to all of that!! You’re probably wondering about this salad. There’s really not a story behind this delicious bowl of couscous, BUT it is one of my favorite quick, crowd-pleasing salads for dinner, picnics, and potlucks alike!

Tender whole wheat couscous paired with crunchy chickpeas, creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, and of course, some fresh basil. Topped off with a delicious balsamic dressing— now that’s my kind of salad!

I make this salad all the time, mostly because it’s so delicious and can be thrown together in 15 minutes, and totally think you’re going to love it. As always, if you try one of my recipes, make sure you snap me (pumpkinandpb) or tag my on Insta (pumpkinandpb). I adore seeing your take on my recipes and how you make them your own 🙂


Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //

Tomato Basil “Caprese” Couscous

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish


  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous, dry
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

for the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • squeeze of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


Step 1
Boil 1 cup of water on the stove. Add dry couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, until couscous is puffy and water is absorbed.
Step 2
Transfer cooked couscous to a large bowl and add chickpeas, diced tomato, and salt and pepper. Stir to combined. Whisk together you balsamic dressing and pour over the salad. Toss to coat.
Step 3
Add the fresh chopped basil and avocado to the salad. Gently stir to combine. Add any additional salt and pepper needed, then serve it on up!

Tomato Basil "Caprese" Couscous {vegan} //


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. It sounds like you guys had SO much fun!! I seriously loved following along on Snapchat 😉
    This salad looks absolutely divine – caprese just screams “summer”!

    • It was such a blast! I loved following along on yours too 😉

  2. Sounds like you are marrying into an amazing family and you are inheriting some awesome in-laws (count your blessings lady!! LOL)! I can’t think of a better welcome than copious amounts of food and rapping.

    • Yeah I’m feeling pretty lucky right now haha! No better way to be welcomed in 😉

  3. This dish looks sooo delicious and perfect for summer. I will be making it very soon. We have lots of beach picnics in the summer and this will be a perfect dish for those.

    • Agreed Maya— these salads are what get me through the week 😉

  4. Wow, sounds like an amazing weekend!! Hope you are thoroughly enjoying your summer ☺

    • Thanks Erin! It’s been pretty wonderful 🙂 Hope all is well!

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