Orange Almond Couscous Bowl with Za’atar Roasted Veggies & Tahini Mint Sauce | Vegan


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 Fans of Middle Eastern Cuisine will love this healthy vegan couscous bowl. Fluffy Orange-Almond Couscous topped with oven baked, Za’atar spiced chickpeas, squash, and cauliflower florets – served with a creamy Tahini Mint Sauce.

Vegan Couscous Bowl with Roasted Chickpeas, Cauliflower and Tahini Mint Sauce

*Amazon disclaimer: A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you. 

Fall is here and I seriously enjoy doing all those seasonal things for the first time. The first apple pies, the first squash recipes, lighting a “Pumpkin Spice” Candle after dinner and drinking hot beverages throughout the day. I am fully willing to say goodbye to summer for a bit, here.

Last Sunday, I could actually even convince my husband to take a long, scenic walk along the South Saskatchewan River with me and it was magical! He also got to watch me eat a crabapple, which reconfirmed his theory that my love for sour fruits is not quite normal. That day we got home, craving something comforting and vegetable-driven. Something that would not undo all the benefits of our walk.

I created this dish more or less from what was left in the fridge after a week of pretty healthy eating.   Just some cauliflower and onions, a quarter kabocha squash and a can of chickpeas!

Vegan Couscous Bowl with roasted chickpeas, cauliflower and squash served with tahini mint sauce

I did some browsing online and found a recipe over at Oh My Veggies, which I adapted to create this fall-inspired vegan couscous bowl. What I love about this recipe, are all the different textures and flavors that take this simple dish from good to awesome. The fluffy orange-scented couscous, the creamy squash, the sweet, caramelized cauliflower, the crunchy, nutty chickpeas. Along with some toasted almonds, I also added a handful of plump golden raisins to my orange couscous for some extra chew and sweetness. The Tahini Mint Sauce adds a refreshing element and goes so well with the whole Middle Eastern theme of this dish.

Vegan Orange Almond Couscous Bowl with oven roasted veggies and tahini mint sauce

The spices we use to marinate the veggies are essential. We are using primarily za’atar to flavor the veggie mix. Don’t panic if you have never heard of it. We will sort this out right away. This Middle Eastern blend of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt is indeed a great addition to your pantry. You will find it in the spice department of bigger grocery stores, online, or you can simply make your own blend following this recipe. I use it to marinate tofu or for my Za’atar Bread Rolls. It will rock your world, so do not hesitate to mix a bigger batch.

Vegan Couscous Bowl with Za'atar Roasted Vegetables and Tahini Mint Sauce

Sumac is another exotic ingredient on the recipe list. It is a dark red spice with a tangy, lemony flavor, which is used in a lot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes from dry rubs or marinades, to dressing. I found it at our local superstore, but you can also order it here* online. You could substitute with paprika powder mixed with a quarter teaspoon of lemon zest, but it will not be quite the same.

Orange Almond Couscous with oven roasted chickpeas cauliflower and sqash

I am sure you are going to love this healthy, nourishing couscous bowl. It is so easy to prepare and does not require any special kitchen skills. Have it for dinner and take the leftovers as a packed lunch to the office! Leftover sauce keeps for about 4 days when stored in the fridge.

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*Amazon disclaimer: A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you. 

Vegan Couscous Bowl with Za'atar Roasted Vegetables and Tahini Mint Sauce
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Orange Almond Couscous Bowl with Roasted Vegetables & Tahini Mint Sauce

Fans of Middle Eastern Cuisine will love this healthy vegan couscous bowl. Fluffy Orange Almond Couscous topped with oven baked Za'atar spiced chickpeas, squash, and cauliflower - served with a creamy Tahini Mint Sauce.

Course main
Cuisine iran, israel, middleeast
Servings 2 portions
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained 540 ml
  • 1 red onion
  • 200 g kabocha or butternut squash 1/4 squash
  • 3 tbsp Za'atar Spice
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1,5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 250 ml vegetable broth 1 cup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 ml orange juice 1/2 cup
  • 200 g instant couscous 1 cup
  • 4 tbsp almond flakes
  • 40 g raisins

For the Tahini Mint Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 25 g fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 100 ml tahini
  • 100 ml water
  • 50 ml soy or nut milk

Instructions

  1. Break the cauliflower into little florets. Drain chickpeas. Peel the onion and cut it into slices.  Cut squash into cubes. In a large freezer bag, toss vegetables with za'atar, sumac, cinnamon, cumin and 3/4 to 1 tsp of salt as well as the broth and olive oil and let marinate in the fridge for about 4 hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees. Transfer the veggie mix including liquid to a baking dish and let bake for 45 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, mix orange juice, 100 ml of water and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the couscous. Put the lid on the pot and let stand for 10 minutes.

  4. On medium heat, toast the almonds in a pan without fat, until just golden. Peel the garlic, chop the mint coarsely and juice the lemon.

  5. Blend all the ingredients for the Sauce in a food processor until you have a creamy, green sauce. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. 

  6. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, making sure to break up all the chunks that might have formed. Stir the almonds and raisins into the couscous and divide couscous between 2 serving bowls. Top with half of the veggie mix and drizzle with tahini mint sauce.Enjoy! 

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Vegan Couscous Bowls with Oven Roasted Za'atar Chickpeas, Cauliflower and Tahini Mint Sauce

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3 Comments

  1. Also eigentlich trauere ich dem Sommer ja schon hinterher. Zumal ich gerade hier mit Decke und Wärmflasche sitze und es draußen kübelt was runter geht. Aber auf der anderen Seite sehe ich dann so köstliche Rezeptideen aus der Herbstküche wie diese vegane Couscous Bowl und mir geht das Herz auf. Wunderbar! Die sieht einfach nur toll aus. Du hast nicht zufällig noch eine Portion über, die ich mir nehmen könnte?

    Viele Grüße
    Jasmin

    • Hallo liebe Jasim,
      Ach, das freut mich, wenn ich mit meinem Rezept ein kleines Gewicht mehr zugunsten des Jahreszeitenwechsels mit in die Waagschale werfen kann. Übrig haben wir leider nichts mehr, aber vielleicht packt dich ja mal die Lust zum Nachkochen! Das schmeckt auch ganz herrlich auf der Couch mit Decke und Wärmflasche..besonders wenn es draußen kübelt! :-) Ich grüße dich ganz lieb.

  2. Pingback: Kürbis Hummus mit knusprigem Lamm und Zitronen Petersiliensauce | Clean Eating Rezept

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