I have sooooo much love for giant couscous and in fact it is something that we make most weeks (thankfully Dinky approves too!). I really enjoy the texture and I love the fact that it works great both in salad-type dishes (when you fancy adding some carbs for extra energy) as well as humble dinners when cooked as pasta (we enjoy it with a simple tomato sauce and veggie parmesan. Yum!).
It takes longer to cook compared to standard couscous but it’s totally worth it as it’s super filling and absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients very well.
So today’s recipe sees it combined with my most favourite winter veg: butternut squash. Actually, now I think about it, butternut squash has to share the number 1 place with Brussels sprouts but I digress…
Yes, so, butternut squash. It’s a good time of the year because it’s pretty cheap and with one bad boy you can make a lot of food. So yay!
As most recipes on this website, this bowl of veggie goodness is totally and utterly fool proof. Roast the butternut squash in the oven with the most delicious mix of spices, quickly cook the cashew nuts in a pan until they give off that amazing rich fragrance (which is making me hungry just thinking about it, despite the fact that it’s 10am!) and add them both to cooked giant couscous.
Dress with chopped fresh chilli, herbs and olive oil and you have a tasty and filling dinner which is sure to put a smile on your face. And make your colleagues at work very jealous if you bring in any leftovers.
In fact, you MUST make enough for two meals as it’s totally delicious both warm and cold.
And speaking of leftovers… Do you often bring them the work for lunch the following day? As you might know, I work from home but, as well as work, I have 31587419315 things to do on the days when Dinky is at nursery (so is mum life!) so I love having something nutritious in the fridge that I can enjoy during my very short lunch breaks. In fact, I often get asked how I manage to avoid processed food so much, especially now that I have Dinky and time to cook is very limited.
My top answer is that I double up a recipe so that we have enough for lunch or, depending on the recipe, batch cook so that we have a couple of portions we can defrost on days when cooking just isn’t happening.
Of course – let’s keep it real – there are days when lunch is a quick sandwich and a packet of crisps with the odd instant noodle pot thrown in for good measure BUT to be being healthy doesn’t requite eating “clean” (whatever that means anyway!) all the time. There is room for compromise and if, as a family, we eat healthy, home cooked food most times, that works for us.
PS: If you are interested in a series of posts about batch cooking and meal prep, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to put something together for you!
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C
- Peel and chop the butternut squash, place in a roasting tray then toss with 1 tablespoon of oil, the spices and a pinch of salt.
- Spread out in an even layer and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until soft.
- While the butternut squash is in the oven, cook the giant couscous according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Place the cashew nuts in a pan and cook them over medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown. Make sure you stir often as they can burn easily.
- Mix the roasted squash, the couscous and the cashews together and dress with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the chopped herbs and chilli. Enjoy right away or keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
Suitable for vegans
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Have you had giant couscous before? Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.