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I don’t know about you but lately I’ve been getting pretty lazy when it comes to preparing a lunch for myself. Throughout the winter months I managed to survive on spending relatively little by buying soup and splitting it between two days (thank you Tesco finest) however it’s Spring now and I want to be a bit more adventurous with what I eat without dipping into the bank balance too much!
Therefore I decided I would try and make something nutritious, delicious and cheap that would last me a few days and hopefully I wouldn’t get too bored of. I’ve really been enjoying butternut squash lately, especially since Craig made an incredible butternut squash and chorizo soup (I’ll have to put the recipe up here!) so I wanted to make something with it in and thought about making a cous cous dish.
After searching a few different websites I came across this one from house and garden magazine recipes section:http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/recipes/main-courses/giant-couscous-butternut-squash – I have now fallen in love with this recipes page, mostly because I just love looking at the food styling but also because the recipes really are so varied and use a wide range of ingredients. This recipe in particular didn’t seem too hard to make and although butternut squash can be a tad expensive, the recipe creates 4 servings so you make good use of it. Here is what you need to make butternut squash cous cous:
- 1 lemon
- 750g (1½lb) butternut squash (I just used 1 butternut squash which was plenty)
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (changed for a red onion)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 250g (8oz) giant couscous (used normal cous cous as Sainsburys didn’t have the big stuff)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 long red chilli, chopped (didn’t use but would recommend)
- 20g (¾oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (didn’t use as Craig packed spinach into my bag instead of parsley so that’s my excuse)
- 4tbsp mint leaves, chopped
- 2 little gem lettuces, shredded
- 100g (3½oz) pine nuts, toasted
- 60g (2oz) golden raisins (I used 2 small bags of mixed raisins, nuts and pumpkin seeds which worked really well instead)
- 1/4tsp ground allspice
- vegetable stock
- Halve the lemon and scoop out and discard the flesh.
2. Peel and remove seeds from the squash and cut flesh into small chunks. It’s best to grate the skin off the butternut squash, cut down the middle and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
3. Heat 2tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes.4. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further 7-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
5. Put the cous cous in a bowl with a cinanmon stick and cover with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Leave to stand until water is soaked through.
6. Add the cous cous to the pan with the vegetables then add the raisins, lemon zest, mint, all spice and salt and pepper.
7. Place a vegetable stock cube in a jug and fill 200ml of boiling water. Mix so that the stock cube dissolves and add to the cous cous mixture. 8. Once mixed together add the lettuce and serve.
It really is such a simple and delicious recipe. After solely adding the cous cous to the vegetables with the nuts and salt and pepper, the flavour was still a bit too plain for my liking so I decided to add the vegetable stock which really worked in giving more flavour. The good thing about a recipe like this is you can really add whatever you want to it which is great because it’s going to be my lunch for the next four days!
Let’s see how adventurous I can go, tomorrow I might just add some tomatoes or cucumber to spruce it up! Who knows! I hope you enjoy.