As you may already know, my daughter has many food allergies so we already alter many popular recipes to exclude all of her allergens. But lately I have been reading more and more about what goes into our food, the process, and the behind the scenes of it all and I’m really shocked. What really got to me was the movie Food, Inc. Have you seen it? You should, just for the sake of knowing what is going on.
But I digress…recently I decided to reduce meat and meat by-products in our foods and lead a more clean lifestyle. We’re still in the “flirting” stage as Alicia Silverstone puts it in her book “The Kind Diet“, meaning we are testing the waters and slowly making substitutes. And that’s where this dish comes in, a hearty filling meal that can easily be a side dish to baked or grilled chicken, if you so desire. But we paired it with a simple salad and boy was I reaching for seconds! I never cooked with saffron before and was a little intimidated by the fragile threads but as soon as it hits the couscous your senses go into overdrive. This will definitely make it to our weekly menu again!
2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into cubes
2 cups yellow onion, large dice
1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into cubes
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs Earth Balance butter (it’s a vegan butter that’s so good you won’t notice the difference)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once midway through.
Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, remaining pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt to taste. Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
Pour the vegetables into a big bowl and then top with the couscous and scallions and then toss. Voila!
Source: The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
Photography: Perideau Designs