Roasted Vegetable Couscous is an easy and delicious side dish. The couscous is ready in minutes, and when combined with roasted vegetables, every bite explodes with flavor.
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It’s no secret that I have an obsession with pasta. I could never do those diets that eliminate carbs, because I know I wouldn’t enjoy that lifestyle. I also know that I can’t eat pasta all the time or I will gain a bunch of weight. The exception is when I’m training for a half marathon. During those 12 weeks I’m running 15-25 miles/week, and need those carbs for energy. Do I use that as an excuse to eat carbs more often? Well of course I do. But I still keep the portions in moderation.
When I visit unique grocery stores I always stop in the pasta aisle to see what fun shapes are available. Then I end up with way more pasta than I need in the pantry. But I can’t help myself, and it holds very well for a long time. One of those trips through the pasta aisle is actually how I discovered couscous about 4 years ago. I originally assumed that couscous was a grain; however, it is made with semolina flour, the same as pasta. There are numerous types of couscous, but the most widely available in regular grocery stores are Moroccan and Israeli.
I always used Moroccan Couscous, until about a year ago when my mom introduced me to the Israeli Pearled Couscous. I now keep both in my pantry, but use the Moroccan more often. To me, the pearled couscous gets too mushy for my tastes.
When I make dinner, I almost always have a starch and a vegetable as sides to complement the protein. I’ve made plain couscous as a side, but it’s kind of boring by itself. So I decided to add some simple roasted vegetables, to create Roasted Vegetable Couscous.
ROASTING VEGETABLES IS SO EASY!
For a long time I thought that roasted vegetables were difficult to make; then I watched Ina Garten do it on The Food Network and realized I was afraid for nothing. Roasting vegetables is about as simple as you can get: season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with oil, roast at about 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I normally use Avocado Oil to roast vegetables, but Olive Oil works as well.
I use green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, red bell peppers and red onions for Roasted Vegetable Couscous, but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Cut the vegetables all to about the same size so they cook evenly. Also, don’t skimp on the oil. You don’t want to drown the vegetables, but you also want to ensure that they don’t burn. Keep the garlic cloves whole to roast, and then thinly slice them to serve.
HOW TO PREPARE COUSCOUS
You will have perfect couscous in 4 easy steps:
- Bring the cooking liquid to a boil
- Add the couscous and any seasonings, and stir to combine
- Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Couscous is done when liquid is absorbed
- Fluff the couscous with a fork, and it’s ready to eat
When I first began to make couscous I used water, but the couscous lacked flavor because I don’t add butter like I do with regular pasta. Once I learned to make Homemade Vegetable Broth, I used it and never looked back. You can use store-bought broth, but homemade is simple to make and has a greater depth of flavor. I also add Garlic Powder and Onion Powder with the dry couscous, for even more flavor.
Roasted Vegetable Couscous is such a great side dish. I love the versatility of the vegetables, and it goes well with chicken, pork or steak.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1/2 cup Moroccan couscous
- 1 cup Water or broth I use homemade vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 10 spears asparagus spears, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic (keep cloves whole)
- 1/2 cup baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
- parsley for garnish
- salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine all vegetables in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and drizzle with oil. Mix thoroughly
- Transfer vegetables onto lined sheet pan, keeping everything in one layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes. I usually check at 15 minutes, just to be sure
- Bring broth or water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous, garlic powder and onion powder, and stir to combine
- Remove pan from heat, and let sit for 5-7 minutes. I usually check at 5 minutes. The couscous is done when the liquid is absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork
- Combine roasted vegetables with couscous. Garnish with parsley