Couscous + Chickpea, Scallion, Roasted Veggies: my old standby!

December 11, 2008 § 5 Comments

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This recipe marks my longest “food rut” in the history of Regina Food Ruts.  Like the quintessential PB & J sandwich, I ate this meal, with hardly any variation, day-in, day-out for lunch for nearly two and a half straight months during my junior year in college. This bowl of couscous, beans, vegetables and cheese (or pesto) is hardy and savory, very simple, fairly quick and a huge bonus for those with slim wallets: these ingredients are inexpensive and this recipe makes loads of leftovers that are still delicious several days later.  I’d make a big batch of this salad on Sunday and it would nearly always last me until Thursday, sometimes Friday if I varied my week a little (doubtful).

Below I’ve written how I whip together this recipe, but it’s completely flexible.  You can add-in or leave-out any vegetable, depending on what’s in your fridge.  If you don’t like cheese and would rather not have pesto, squirt a little lemon juice and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top.  If that doesn’t sound good, what about a big scoop of hummus?  Or another pureed dish like baba ganoush or sun-dried tomato pesto?  Feel free to dabble.

The Ol’ Standby Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 bunch scallions
2 cups garbanzo beans, pre-cooked
1 head cauliflower
3-4 large carrots
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
splash olive oil

Plus a few of my Favorite Additions:
1 butternut squash
1/8 cup pesto

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut up desired vegetables. In a rimmed sheet pan, toss veggies with a few splashes of olive oil and cumin.  Roast for about 15 minutes and turn veggies over.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until soft and crisp around the edges.

3. Meanwhile, toss toss chickpeas and sliced scallions in a large bowl.

4.  Cook couscous according to instructions on package.  When water has absorbed, toss couscous with chickpeas and scallions.

5.  When vegetables are cooked, mix with couscous.  Serve immediately in individual bowls with a generous handful of cheddar cheese on top.

End Note about Butternut Squash:

Cooking with a butternut squash can seem like a daunting task.  It’s long, covered in a seemingly impenetrable shell, and it might seem like more trouble than its worth.  But trust me, it’s so easy to bake; don’t let its looks steer you away from picking one up at the farmers’ market.

STEP ONE: Peel skin.  You can do this using a paring knife or a large peeler.

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STEP TWO: Take a large knife and cut the squash in half.

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STEP THREE: Scoop out the seeds and cut into bite-sized pieces.


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