When I made my lime- cilantro shrimp A Meal from the Middle East I also made some Middle Eastern side dishes to accompany the shrimp. Couscous is a dish I make a lot when making Middle Eastern dishes. It is so easy, and so healthy and delicious too. I also made some Middle eastern spiced vegetables to serve along side the shrimp as well. All the dishes went together very well. The Middle East, along with India, is known for its wide variety of exotic spices, so all the dishes from these regions are very flavorful and aromatic.
I added some chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro to my couscous, making it even healthier. Couscous is actually a pasta that looks similar to rice. The ratio of water to couscous and water is almost a 1:1, with just slightly more water than couscous. Bring the water with a little salt and olive oil to a full, rapid boil, then turn off the heat and add the couscous. Mix everything together and let it sit for a few minutes before serving or adding additional ingredients. That’s it. Easy-peasy.
The vegetables I made were almost as easy to make as the couscous, and were certainly very tasty too. I used up some of my leftover vegetables and roasted them all together in Middle Eastern spices. The house smelled so good while they were roasting. It was a perfect, easy-peasy fall dinner.
Middle Eastern Roasted Vegetables
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1/2 yellow or crookneck squash, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into a medium dice
1/2 red onion, medium dice
1/2 small pumpkin, medium dice
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp each allspice, cardamon, cumin and cinnamon
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
3-4 TBSP olive oil
butter, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 375* F
Mix all the vegetables and spices together and toss in the olive oil. Arrange the vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the butter chunks on top of the vegetables. Roast the vegetables for about 30-40 minutes or until they golden brown and tender. Serve along side your main dish and enjoy.