Spicy BBQ Chickpea Couscous

22 Nov

The cold days and colder nights, early sunset, and need for 4-5 blankets on the bed are sure signs of winter’s blustery approach. I dislike it greatly. Being a lifelong Wisconsinite, I should in theory be able to handle the cold snowy weather. But I hate it! All I wish for now is for the July sun to warm me late into the evening, when we can wear flowy dresses and sandals, and sit outside to enjoy dinner.

And it’s only November. But alas! We CAN have summer! Well, at least on our dinner plates. BBQ can as easily be done in the oven (and made vegan), as it can on the grill outside. This dish is exactly that. It embraces the flavors and warmth of summer – a short escape into what will be in 7 long months. Kick the autumn blues with this deliciousness – it’ll help!

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Couscous

This homemade, clean sauce is a perfect dressing for chickpeas to roast in the oven. Mixed with couscous and served with bright green veggies, you can have a spicy taste of summer any time of year!

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Couscous

If you don’t like chickpeas, make the sauce and use it on anything. It’s incredible! And vegan! I’ll be making this sauce often in the future. I can imagine covering tofu slices in it to bake, as well.

Side note: I often cook with music playing in the background, and happened to select the Classic Rock Summer playlist on my new favorite app: Songza. Check it out! (No, I’m not being paid to say that. I really do love this app on computer and smartphone).

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Couscous, adapted from In Vegetables We Trust

Serves 4

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 C couscous
  • 1 1/4 C water, with handfuls of dried parsley & oregano, and salt & pepper cracked in
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced into 1/4s, for scooping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a medium sized glass or ceramic baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix everything from shallots to paprika. Dump chickpeas into the prepared dish. Pour sauce over and stir to coat well. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

In the meantime, bring herbed water to boil (or use vegetable stock). Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let that sit until the chickpeas are done.

Slice bell peppers if using. You could also serve this over a bed of mixed greens.

Once they finish in the oven, remove chickpea dish and stir in the couscous, coating everything evenly.

Serve into bowls, with bell peppers on the side. Enjoy hot, or let it cool for a fun appetizer!

The heat from the sriracha pairs amazingly well with the rest of the flavors. A perfect comfort food any time of the year. How cool that it’s totally vegan, too!

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