Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash

We are in a food rut. Well, we're on our way out, but we were definitely stuck there for a long time. My kids are picky eaters (like many kids). Kellen is a carb and cheese man. Quinn likes it sweet. Truthfully, I don't eat much anymore except bowls of cereal for dinner because of Jason getting home so late most nights and the kids refusing to eat anything I put effort into. I can only clean food off the ground so many times before I say 'enough'.

But here is a recipe we tried from Pinterest. Man I love that site.

Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash & Cranberries:

Photo courtesy of thekitchn.com

1 Medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked couscous
4-5 TBL white wine vinegar
2 TBL olive oil
Zest of one orange
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cumin
1-3 tsp salt
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 oz goat cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss squash cubes and onion slices with olive oil and salt. Spread onto baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and onion crisp at tips (about 30 mins). Cool before combining with other ingredients.

Cover cranberries with very hot water in bowl and set aside. Drain before combining with other ingredients.

Cooking couscous: Bring 1 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in couscous and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes until couscous as absorbed water. Fluff with fork and set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, spices, and 1 tsp of salt.

Combine squash, onions, couscous, garbanzo beans and drained cranberries in large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine. Crumble goat cheese into chunks with fingers and gently fold into salad. Taste to check seasoning and add salt if needed.

Serve room temperature or cold. Can keep refrigerated for up to a week.

*So this salad was a pain in the hiney to make, for various reasons, and probably nothing to do with the salad but with my lack of preparation and screaming children. Red Wine Vinegar can be substituted for White Wine Vinegar in the off chance you happened to accidentally buy White Cooking Wine. You'll need to add sugar though. Also, do not add 1-3 TBL of salt. This will result in everyone gagging. Please make sure it's teaspoons. Nutmeg apparently is not needed as I didn't have any. You only need 1/2 an orange to make due. I would also cut the squash into smaller pieces to make it feel like "more". Or maybe just add in less garbanzo beans, that was the general consensus around here.

Overall, this was really good. But for some reason I can't bring myself to eat the leftovers, I think it's b/c of the beans. Nothing wrong with them, they're just unappetizing as a leftover. I do think this would make the perfect salad for a get together, maybe picnic or potluck as it doesn't have to be warm.

My children wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole. I tried.

Oh, and this most certainly does not serve 8-10 people like the original recipe states unless it's a side item. We ate it as the main meal and it would only serve about 3-4.

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