Package of Trader Joe's Harvest Blend (Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa) kept jumping out at me each time I opened the pantry. Last week, I needed to make a winter squash recipe for our 38 Power Foods blogging group and, somehow, the two met with apples and pears on the counter. Leave out the cheese for a hearty vegan entree. Note: I do the squash in the microwave to speed cooking time: first on high (pierced at large end for steam) for a 3-5 minutes, then (let cool a bit) peeled, seeded, and chopped for a few more min. or until tender. —Alyce Morgan
Small butternut squash- 1 lb or less, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Cook couscous according to package directions. Use chicken broth in place of water. You can add a few leaves of fresh sage if you have them (remove before making salad). When couscous is tender, add canola and olive oils while still hot. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (or to taste.) Stir in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. (Cool to room temperature while you chop fruit and cheese.)
Mix all chopped fruit, squash, cheese (skip for vegan version), and pecans with cooled couscous. Add the juice of the other orange and 1 teaspoon honey. Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings and/or dressing. Serve at room temperature in a bowl lined with fresh spinach leaves and garnish with reserved whole pecans. Keeps one day well covered in the refrigerator.