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This beauty has been on our regular rotation for a while, and whenever I’m looking for something hearty and healthy (and vegetarian!), this is one of my favorite go-to’s. Minimal prep, minimal cooking time. It’s also fabulous served over rice.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous
via real simple

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
kosher salt and black pepper
28-ounce can whole tomatoes
15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
1/2 cup raisins
5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped
1 cup couscous

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (crushing with your hands as you add them) and their liquid, chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and ½ cup water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.

images via smith & ratliff

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I don’t know why I ever had doubts about the flavors in this dish, but it ended up being delicious beyond imagining. It’s not often that I use sultanas/golden raisins in anything I cook, but they added the perfect balance to this light, bright medley of flavors. This might replace my mother’s classic pasta salad as my favorite side dish to bring to any summer event. Fantastic!

Summer Squash Couscous with Sultanas, Pistachios and Mint
via food52

1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon honey
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/4 cup veggie stock
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup sultanas/golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and let them steep for about 30 minutes.
Next, bring the veggie stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover, and turn off the heat; allow the couscous to sit for about 5 minutes, or until it absorbs all the liquid. Toss the couscous with a fork so the grains don’t start clumping together, pour into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
In a skillet over medium high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, add the chopped squash and zucchini, shallot, sultanas, pistachios and a pinch or two of salt. Only cook for about a minute or two — you still want the squash and zucchini to be al dente. This just ensures they aren’t too al dente, and all the flavors can marry before they hit the couscous. Set aside until everything reaches room temperature.
Once the veggies have reached room temperature, add them to the bowl with the couscous and combine. Then, remove and discard the cloves of garlic from the dressing, and toss it with the couscous (add the dressing gradually, as you may not need it all). Fold in the mint, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary and serve at room temperature.