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Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggies over Couscous


I love easy weeknight dinners. I love beautiful, easy weeknight dinners. I especially love easy, beautiful and healthy weeknight dinners! This recipe delivers on all fronts and I basically dirty 3 things when cooking this recipe: the roasting pan, the pot for the couscous and a blender. Time saver tip: line the roasting pan with parchment paper before roasting the veggies and you only have 2 things to clean. You’re welcome.

Chioggia beets are one of my favorite vegetables. My kids even love when I cook with them! They’re strikingly beautiful and add a vibrant splash of color to any dish they’re a part of. Aside from being supremely healthy, I love this dinner because of the gorgeous color from the beets; the crispy, slightly charred texture from the veggies; the soft, fluffiness from the warm couscous and the creaminess from the green goddess dressing. I am generous with my salt sprinkling when I roast veggies, so don’t be shy. Most of it sticks to the bottom of the roasting pan and those granules that do stick to the veggies give them the best salty, crunchy bite!

Did you know that…

  • beets are good for your heart?

    • Beets are a good source of folate and betaine and together they help lower blood levels of homocysteine (when elevated, this can increase your risk of heart disease? (1)

  • you may have a better workout if you consume beets?

    • British researchers found that athletes who drank beet juice mixed with a little apple juice before working out reported better endurance and a lower resting blood pressure than those who didn’t. (2)

  • beets can help with memory loss?

    • Beets produce nitric acid, which helps increase blood flow to your brain. MRIs done on older adults who have high-nitrate diets had more blood flow to the white matter of their frontal lobes. (3)

  • beets help you (ehem) go?

    • Beets are loaded with fiber, this helps keep your digestive system running smoothly.

    • Because beets are so dark in color, don’t be alarmed if your stool or urine is pink, it’s just the beets! (4)

  • Chioggia beets are originally from Chioggia, Italy, which is a small piece of land outside of Venice?

  • coating raw beet slices in lemon juice helps preserve their beautiful, vibrant color?

  • Chioggia beets are thought to be the most flavorful of all beet varieties?

ROASTED VEGGIES WITH COUSCOUS

  • 3-4 beets, washed, trimmed and cut into large chunks

  • 1 small head of cauliflower (or half of a large head), washed and cut into chunks

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • healthy pinch of sea salt

  • healthy pinch of ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, I throw the pine nuts onto the veggies during the last 5 minutes of their cooking time

  • shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, optional

  • fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, optional

  • 1 package of couscous (cooked according to package instructions)

    • instead of water, I use vegetable broth when making my couscous, it gives the grain an amazing, rich flavor

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:

  • 1 cup parsley leaves, stems removed or finely chopped

  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves, stems removed

  • 3 TBSP minced chives

  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped, or 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • sea salt to taste

  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender and thin with water if too thick for your liking. This makes about 1 1/2 cups, but you can store the remainder in the fridge for about 3 days.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Toss the beets and cauliflower in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and arrange in an even layer in roasting pan.

  3. Roast for about 12-15 minutes, toss and continue to roast for an additional 10 minutes.

  4. During the last 5 minutes of roasting, scatter the pine nuts over the veggies.

  5. Remove from oven and set aside.

  6. While the veggies are roasting, cook the couscous according to package directions. Set aside.

  7. Spoon a generous amount of couscous into a bowl, top with roasted veggies and drizzle the Green Goddess Dressing over the top.

  8. Top with fresh herbs and shredded cheese, optional

This dinner is fantastic with a Chenin Blanc or a White Bordeaux.

With love,

Jane


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