Posted on December 18 2017
A healthy gem squash recipe that is easy to make, looks gorgeous and colourful on your table and is incredibly flavourful and delicious! These Couscous Stuffed Gem Squash With Roasted Chickpeas can be made a few hours in advance, so they’re ideal for a gathering.
With Christmas just one week away today (ONE WEEK! Where did the year go?), it’s definitely time to start planning your Christmas menu, and I strongly encourage you to add these adorable little stuffed gem squash to your lineup, they pack a flavour punch and look SO inviting!
This is a refreshingly unusual side dish to serve with your Christmas meal (or any meal), that your guests won’t be able to resist! If you can’t get gem squash, try this recipe with butternut squash or pumpkin!
You might also like my Roasted Mushroom Cauliflower Bacon Salad, my Kale Apple Cranberry Salad With Sesame Dressing, my Pecan Cranberry & Avocado Salad with Orange Dressing, my Roasted Beet Potato Salad With Cashew Dressing, my Roast Beet Butternut Basil Goat Cheese Salad, my 5 Ingredient Healthy Pickled Beets and my Red Cabbage Spinach & Beetroot Detox Salad.
And it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3
How to make Couscous Stuffed Gem Squash With Roasted Chickpeas in 3 easy steps:
- The gem squash are sliced in half and boiled until tender, then the flesh is scooped out of the shells and mixed with wholewheat couscous, garlic, salt and pepper.
- This gorgeous sunshine-yellow filling is spooned back into the squash shells and topped with crispy and spicy roasted chickpeas that are a beautifully deep golden colour from the turmeric and cumin.
- To finish it all off, a scattering of pumpkin seeds and ruby-red cranberries which add little pops of sweetness to round out the perfect flavours of this truly lovely side dish.
Ok, so there might be a sneaky 4th step in there, to roast the chickpeas! But there’s nothing to it, I promise, all you do is drain the chickpeas, dry them on kitchen towel, throw them into a baking dish, drizzle over olive oil, season with turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. And into the oven they go for 30 minutes, turning once.
Crispy golden chickpeas, stringy (in a good way) sunshine-yellow gem squash, chewy red cranberries and crunchy pumpkin seeds – this is the perfect balance of texture! And the flavours together are simply UNFORGETTABLE.
I also like to make these stuffed gem squash regularly as a very satisfying vegetarian lunch, these are actually vegan as they contain no animal products.
Why gem squash are good for you:
- Gem squash are low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. They are a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
- Gem squash, like many other summer squash, help regulate blood sugar and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
There are so many ways you could make this recipe your own by stuffing the gem squash with sweetcorn, or mince, or by adding some cheese like feta or brie!
The options are truly endless. You can pretty much make these with any squash you can think of. I am definitely going to try this recipe in the new year with butternut squash…Stuffed butternut squash sounds amazing to me.
A healthy gem squash recipe that is easy to make, looks gorgeous on your table and is incredibly flavourful and delicious!
- FOR THE GEM SQUASH:
- 3 gem squash , large
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup wholewheat couscous
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries , (optional)
- Handful of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- FOR THE CHICKPEAS:
- 410 g canned chickpeas , drained, rinsed and dried
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Salt and black pepper to taste
TO MAKE THE GEM SQUASH:
Slice the gem squash in half. In a large saucepan with enough water to cover the gem squash, bring the water to a boil with a pinch of salt, place the gem squash in the water and boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Place the gem squash on a plate to cool for about 10 minutes.
Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the box, season with olive oil, salt and black pepper.
Scoop out the gem squash seeds with a metal spoon and discard. Then scoop the gem squash from the shells into a large bowl, keeping the shells to one side.
Using the back of a metal spoon, mix the gem squash together with the olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Stir in the couscous.
TO MAKE THE CHICKPEAS:
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Place the dried chickpeas in a baking dish and toss them in the olive oil, salt and black pepper, turmeric and cumin until well coated.
Roast for 15 minutes, give them a stir, and roast for another 15 minutes until golden and crispy.
Stuff the shells with the gem squash mixture, top with the roasted chickpeas, cranberries (optional), pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Serve, and enjoy!
If you are having this side dish with a large meal with plenty of other dishes, you might want to use 4 or 5 small gem squash instead of 3 large gem squash, so that they go further and everyone gets a smaller portion.