Hardy winter veggies are perfect for roasting – the intense heat of the oven caramelizes their natural sugars, making them irresistibly delicious. Add couscous and soft goat cheese for a side dish substantial enough to be a meal in itself; perfect for any vegetarians at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
2 medium beets, trimmed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 ml) dry couscous
4 oz. soft goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Wrap the beets in foil and place them directly on the oven rack while you prepare the rest of the veggies.
Spread all the prepared vegetables out in a single layer on a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with rosemary or thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and dark golden on the edges. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them with your fingers and dice; add to the vegetables on the baking sheet.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large glass or stainless steel bowl and pour 1 1/4 cups boiling water over top. Cover with a plate and let sit 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Add the roasted veggies to the couscous, scraping in any flavourful oil from the bottom of the pan as well. Toss to combine, then add crumbled goat cheese and gently stir. Pour into a serving dish and serve immediately.
290 calories, 10.6 g fat (3.8 g saturated fat, 5.8 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 40.3 g carbohydrate, 7.8 g protein, 5 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, October 2014.