Roasted Butternut Squash & Mushroom Israeli Couscous

I have previously mentioned my small crush on Israeli couscous and imagine my excitement when I recently stumbled upon whole wheat Israeli couscous. The small pearls are larger and denser than regular couscous. It’s healthier than pasta, absorbs flavors more and the additions are simply endless!

This recipe can be made with any grain – barley, farro, whole-wheat regular couscous and more. Simply prepare the grain according to the package instructions. Preparing grains with half broth and half water helps infuse just a little extra flavor than just water alone.

A little crunch on grain-based dishes always appeals to me so I added toasted pine nuts but toasted pecans would work very well also in this dish. As a timesaving step for this busy family, I buy the pre-diced pre-peeled squash that is readily available.

Why Healthy

  • Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamin A.  But that’s not all; there are significant amounts of vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate and thiamin.
  • Mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium – more than any other produce.  They are also a source of B vitamins, potassium and fiber.
  • Spinach leaves are filled with flavonoids, which may have antioxidant properties, and are high in vitamin K.
  • Using whole wheat Israeli couscous is a great option as it yields the benefits of whole wheat combined with the quick cook time for which couscous is known. This is a much deeper, nuttier flavor than the processed version.

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Mushroom Israeli Couscous

This recipe can be made with any grain – barley, farro, whole-wheat regular couscous and more.

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled seeded and diced
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous (See Note Above)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
8 Ounces Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves, Torn Into Pieces
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts, Toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss squash with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and place on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until soft and softly caramelized (30 minutes), then set aside.
Prepare your choice of grain and follow package instructions.
If using whole wheat Israeli couscous, boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of broth.
Add 1 cup dry couscous and cover at a low simmer for 10 minutes.
While your grains are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat.
Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are subtly browned.
Add garlic, chicken broth and balsamic vinegar.
Cook for about 2 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed, then stir in thyme, orange zest and spinach leaves.
Once spinach leaves are slightly wilted, remove from the heat and add couscous and butternut squash to the pan.
Sprinkle with pine nuts.

 

2 Responses to “Baked Stuffed Shells”

  1. Meredith — August 22, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    This looks amazing, can you please tell me if it is suitable to freeze? If so, would you cook it first then freeze? Many thanks.

    [Reply]

    recipe Reply:

    Meredith, yes it should freeze fine. I would freeze it before baking.

    [Reply]

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