It's week #3 of my 2018 challenge to try one new whole-food plant-based (WFPB) recipe each week. The inspiration for this meal comes from the Plant Based on a Budget website. I love their mission to help people prepare foods that are healthy, delicious, and inexpensive.
What I like about this recipe (besides the fact that it's healthy):
- Super easy
- Versatile - use whatever veggies you like! (I strayed from the original recipe a bit.)
- It's a hearty and comforting dish.
- It makes the house smell so good while it's cooking!
What I ended up using:
Note: I rarely follow a recipe exactly.
- 3 bell peppers. I used one red, one yellow, and one orange.
- 1 sweet yellow onion
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 package of steak-cut fresh mushrooms
- A couple small boxes of couscous. My grocery store only carried flavored couscous, so I ended up preparing that (however, I think their version looks better). You could also use quinoa, which I will likely use in the future (flavoring it the way they flavored the couscous, with garlic and smoked paprika).
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Garam masala seasoning. I bought this online through Amazon because my small-town grocery store didn't sell it.
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Soften the butternut squash. I love butternut squash. But I must admit, cutting raw butternut squash stresses me out. This is probably because my knives are too dull. Anyhow, I've found a solution (which works well for sweet potatoes too). I like to soften the butternut squash before peeling and cutting it. You can do this by halving the butternut squash, removing the seeds, and putting the two halves into a large saute pan (skin side down), with water covering the bottom of the pan. I let it steam on the stove for about 15 minutes, then removed the squash and let it cool.
- As the squash steams, you can get to work on the rest. I chopped all the veggies into large chunks (about an inch or two) and placed them into two glass 9x13 pans. You want the vegetables spread out into a single layer so they will roast (not just steam) in the oven.
- Once the squash has cooled, peel it (super easy at this point) and cut it into 1-2 inch chunks. These go into the 9x13 pans with the other veggies.
- Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and season with garam masala and salt and pepper to taste. (Test out a few of those squash pieces! So good.) I just mixed it all around in the pans with my hands.
- Roast the veggies in the oven until cooked to your liking. Check them around 15-20 minutes and see what you think. Mine ended up roasting for about 25 minutes.
- While the veggies roast, cook the couscous. I love couscous but had never cooked it before. I could't believe how fast it cooked. It quickly absorbed the water and puffed right up! (For directions on cooking the couscous, please see the original recipe above, or cook according to package directions like I did).
- Finally, put 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric into a saute pan. Heat to med-high. Add the drained/rinsed chickpeas to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. This gives the chickpeas a gorgeous color!
- When ready to eat, grab a bowl, add couscous first, then top with chickpeas and roasted veggies.
This post was originally published on January 19, 2018.