As I think through dinners this time of year I often just put together something from what I already have in my pantry. This particular week I happened to have couscous, kale and squash. I always keep a few grains around the house for dinners, soups, or lunches. You can easily make a one dish dinner or side dish with a grain plus a few vegetables. While farro is my favoire grain, I really do like them all. Here are a few grains I try to keep stocked in my kitchen: wild rice, whole grain couscous, farro or wheat berries, pearled or Israeli couscous, brown rice, and quinoa. Grains create a great base for any Thanksgiving Side Dish.
As I made this spiced couscous dish I couldn’t help but think of my Moroccan Tagine Recipe with Chicken and Couscous, a meal we enjoy often as I reminisce my summer in Spain. I absolutely love the flavors of Moroccan food, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple spices, creating the aroma of the holidays, which I enjoy year around! This couscous dish fills your house with all of the best aromas of the season and makes a great meatless monday meal with a few slices of warm pita bread and Laziz muhammara spread or make this as a side dish for a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re in the squash mood, like I am, here are a few more tasty fall squash recipes:
- 1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch of kale or 2-3 cups, stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, + more to sprinkle over couscous
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain couscous
- 1 and 1/3 cups water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of golden raisins
- honey or maple syrup to drizzle
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and deseed the acorn squash, then cube into 1/2 inch squares. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray or parchment. Place squash in large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Spread squash out on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a wide skillet or pan, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and caramelize (brown over medium heat) about 5-10 minutes. Place onion in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, drizzle the golden raisins with honey and set aside.
- Using the same pan you used to cook the onion, bring 1 cup of water, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 tsp salt and to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. Mix in caramelized onions and raisins, sprinkle with cinnamon.
- In a separate skillet heat another tablespoon of oil and sauté the kale with the roasted acorn squash for about 3-4 minutes or until tender but still crisp, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup over the kale and squash. Gently stir then remove from heat.
- Top couscous with roasted acorn squash and kale then serve.
Use a wide skillet or pan to cook couscous so that it doesn't stick together.