Mediterranean Style Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Cashew Cream

I love cashew cream, a vegan sauce that can top a salad, pizza or grains, adding a rich robust flavor. It’s easy to make and can freeze for up to 6 months. A recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa with Cashew Tzatziki by Contentedness Cooking caught my eye because it has components I often make…some sort of whole grain and roasted vegetables. But I’d never thought to drizzle cashew sauce on top. What an incredible addition that takes it to the next level!

First off, roast your favorite diced vegetables as they take longest to cook. Pictured below are eggplant, yellow and red bell pepper, and zucchini. My veggies are brushed with olive oil and a little salt before roasting at 375 F for about 45 minutes. As those cook, choose your grain. Although I had quinoa sitting around, I opted for whole wheat couscous because it’s 20 minutes faster to prepare. The recipe then calls for mixing tomato paste into the cooked grain, another easy step I’ve never tried but which added instant flavor, especially because I chose a roasted garlic tomato paste. When the veggies are done, mix them into the grain. I also threw in canned, rinsed beans for more protein. At this point the dish is perfectly yummy as is!

CouscousCashewCream6

But you have to try the cashew cream at least once: Stay simple by blending soaked raw cashews, lemon juice and water, or deepen the flavor by adding other seasonings like garlic, vinegar and salt. You can also opt for sweet by adding honey, cinnamon or vanilla!

CouscousCashewCream

My cashew cream here isn’t very pretty, too lumpy. It’s supposed to be creamy smooth, but either I didn’t use enough water or my blender isn’t powerful enough. Either way it was perfectly delicious if not pretty.

CouscousCashewCream7

Who says comfort food has to be greasy, cheesy and deep-fried? This healthful dish is soo comforting and satisfying. I couldn’t wait to finish taking the photos so I could dig in! Give it a try, I’m sure you will love it. Prepare extra to pack an energy-boosting work lunch that tastes great heated or at room temperature.

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