Moroccan My Socks! Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash
by Charlie Michelle
My husband, who is in the Army, just came home for a family emergency. After indulging together with two weeks of rich desserts and sugary sweets, I’m definitely in the mood for something a bit healthier, eh? My waistband is begging for something not filled with cream and sugar, so last night, I made a completely vegan, kosher pareve dinner. And it tastes AMAZING! At less than 400 calories per serving, you just can’t go wrong.
We had acorn squash, filled with a Moroccan couscous stuffing. The flavor is rich and hearty, but fresh. Acorn squash is in season, and with the fluctuations in temperature a lot of us are getting lately, this dish works well for both winter and spring weather.
If you’ve never had acorn squash, you’ll love it. It is reminiscent of brown sugar; sweet and soft, tasting a little like sweet potatoes or butternut squash. In other words– Total yum.
Israeli couscous is used in this recipe and can be found in most groceries, but if you can’t find it, you can always use regular couscous, quinoa, or rice. As with all my recipes, feel free to make this your own–experiment with different vegetables, beans, spices, and flavors.
What you’ll need for four servings:
- 2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, mixed with 2 teaspoons brown suga-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrot, diced
- 2 stalk celery, diced
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
Brush your acorn squash halves with your oil/brown sugar mix and place face-down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pop into an oven preheated to 350 degrees F and roast until fork tender. I hate to give times, since ovens vary so widely. Mine took about 40 minutes. They were done by the time I finished the filling.
In a wide, deep skillet or saucepan, saute your carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil until tender.
Add your cranberries or raisins, vegetable broth, and raw couscous. Stir and simmer over medium heat until couscous is fluffy and tender. Add your cumin and seasoning to taste. See how easy this is? I know!
Save your black beans for last. They’re delicate and already cooked, so further cooking will just turn them to mush. Stir everything together until well heated through.
Your squashes should be done by now. If you want to, brush with a little more sugar/oil before filling. Scoop the filling generously into the squash halves. Everyone loves stuffing, so don’t be stingy. Plus, you’ll have a lot to go around.
Serve it up hot and steamy. I served mine with steamed asian veggies in a light herb sauce. The husband went wild. He went back for seconds and then finished our son’s. I’d call that one sweet, spicy success!