Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Couscous

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Couscous

Autumn is here and with it comes many vegetables and fruits suitable for eating at this time of year. Pumpkin is delicious, versatile and easy to add to your diet. Its seeds are also edible and highly nutritious when roasted or stir fried.

Its sweet flavor makes it a popular ingredient in dishes like custards, pies and pancakes. However, it works just as well in savory dishes such as roasted vegetables, soups and stews.

Pumpkins have a very tough skin, so it requires some effort to slice. Once you cut it, scoop out the seeds and any stringy parts, then slice the pumpkin into wedges.

The seeds are also edible and packed with nutrients which offer many other benefits. 

Pumpkin is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A. It also contains many minerals as well as being low in calories. Vitamin A is also important for eyesight and sight loss.

Pumpkin contains many antioxidants which protect your body against free radicals. Free radicals are linked to aging and a host of diseases.

Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost the immune system. It also has vitamin E, iron and folate which strengthen the immunity.

This vegetarian dish, which is healthy and nutritious, has a Moroccan influence with the addition of Ras el Hanout.

Literally translated as “head of shop,” The Arabic phrase ras el hanout really means “top shelf.” Legend has it this Moroccan spice blend was created by North African Berber spice dealers who would mix together the best of what they had on offer, thus creating a heady, aromatic signature blend-sometimes 50 individual spices.

Ingredients and preparation:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots x 2
  • Onions x 2
  • Courgette
  • Mushrooms

Cut the above ingredients into cubes and place in an ovenproof dish. Mix in:

  • Oil
  • Ras el hanout x 2-3 teaspoons
  • Salt
  • Pepper 

Place in a pre-heated oven 180 degrees for 40 min, turn once.

Add:

  • Dates x4
  • Figs x4
  • Handful of raisins 
  • Chickpeas

Stock:

  • 3 cups vegetable stock 
  • Ras el hanout x 1-2 teaspoons
  • Tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Stir, 15 minutes more in oven as grain steams

Cous cous:

  • 1 cup/150g for 2 people
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Pinch of saffron

Let the grain absorb the stock for about half an hour. Steam the couscous grain for 15-20 minutes

Garnish:

  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Toasted sesame seeds
David Hankey

Hi, I’m David Hankey and I have been studying and practicing oriental health systems for more than 30 years.