Lucy's Friendly Foods


I’m trying to challenge myself. Some of my least favourite pulses are chickpeas and I’m mostly not more than luke-warm about any squash or pumpkin. So this recipe is a bit of a ‘leap of faith’ for me. In using flavours (Harissa) and textures (couscous and roasted onions) that I like in the dish, I was hoping to make the squash and chickpeas more palatable. Roasting them gives a wonderfully sweet flavour and the robust spicing overwhelms the bits I don’t like in the veg. It looks wonderful piled high on a platter and works equally well as a salad, side or even main dish. Can I say I’m a convert? Well, nearly! Just have to keep the variety going to pep your unloved veg. Hope you enjoy as much as I did…

Worth noting that this is the best, most foolproof way of cooking couscous I’ve ever come across – always resulting in tasty, fluffy grains in a flash. Couscous sounds like it should be so easy, but the number of times I have it off a menu and it’s been cooked terribly is shocking.

Moroccan Couscous (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves 4

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 red onion, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Harissa paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Small handful if parsley, finely chopped

For the couscous:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of any combination of lemon or vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

– Mix together the squash, onion, chickpeas, oil and Harissa and roast for 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade, tossing now and then
– Add the balsamic and cook for an extra 10 minutes
– Taste and adjust seasoning as desired
– To make the couscous: bring the water, lemon/vinegar, oil and salt to the boil
– Pour over the couscous and cover
– Leave for 10 minutes then fluff up with a fork
– Add the roasted veg to the couscous, pls the raisins and parsley
– Serve warm or room temperature




6 Responses

  1. We love North African Scram! Thanks for sharing this recipe and for being courageous with your chick peas! Once Aars has passed his chickpea food challenge at the hospital (fingers crossed) I shall HOPEFULLY be able to share with you the couscous I learnt in Tunis! My partner hates aubergine and chickpea – but loves them in Tunisian couscous!

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