Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Creamy Pumpkin Couscous/Vegetarian

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Just delicious... that's all I'm saying!!

So I don't know about you, but entertaining is first and foremost on my mind these days.  Whether it be those cookies I still have to bake, or the friends coming over Saturday night... or even *gulp* our annual pre-Christmas Eve get together...
"Holy broken clocks batman", where has the time gone??

Okay, okay, don't panic (this is me talking to myself).  Take inventory of what is in your freezer and pantry and take it from there.

Well, after taking the inventory I literally felt myself relax.  I knew for the most part what my menu was going to be, and it involved me NOT going shopping (crazy this time of year I tell you),  to make an amazing menu.

We are talking a creamy pumpkin couscous which closely resembles a risotto.  Full of sweetness and savory goodness.  Mellow enough to eat as a soup, or as base/side for just a little extra something, something ...
I strongly suggest the little extra something!  I mean the sweet pumpkin couscous coupled with the most amazing "maple spiced chicken kebabs" found HERE.  Those flavors of sweet, spicy, and creamy just meld into each other, they intertwine, I tell you!!

So, I can honestly tell you, this will be the easiest, tastiest party you have hosted thus far!

Can you imagine your guests faces when you come out with a beautiful platter of this couscous followed by a scrumptious platter of the kebabs to pair with?  I know!
You will be your own rock star, true and true!!

This couscous is chock full of fresh pumpkin (can use winter squash of choice if desired), butter, cumin, cinnamon, thyme... and the king of "couscous", Israeli couscous!  They plump up just so, and are just the most delectable of gems.  Plus they make an adorable presentation!!  We add just a little cream cheese to thicken and make this dish the creamiest of all. Then the piece de resistance... caramelized walnuts on top!!  I know!!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings

4 cups pumpkin (seeded, peeled and cubed)
6 cups water
1 cup Israeli couscous
3 oz cream cheese
1 onion diced
6 tbsp unsalted butter (divided; 3 + 3)
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 - 1/2 pepper

Additional ingredients for water:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Carmelized walnuts:
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp granulated sugar

-In a medium saucepan, add your cubed pumpkin, water, sugar and salt bring to a simmer.  Let boil till soft.  Using a slotted spoon, remove pumpkin (squash) from saucepan and reserve water.


-Once pumpkin has been removed place on a baking sheet and add the first 3 tbsp of butter.  Mash slightly with your potato masher.   

-Let's add our amazing spices now shall we...  It doesn't have to be perfectly mashed.  Set aside.

-Using a large skillet/saucepan.  Add your butter, let melt, add your oil.  Add your onion.  Saute for a couple of minutes till onions start to become soft, then add your couscous.  Stir and incorporate the couscous till it starts to become golden.

 -When couscous has become slightly golden, add in your amazing smashed pumpkin.

-Incorporate pumpkin.  Once pumpkin has been thoroughly mixed it's time to add our reserved pumpkin water.

-Just like a risotto, you start off with a little water at a time, and you are constantly keeping an eye on it and stirring frequently.  
I started off with 2 cups of the pumpkin water.  I let the mixture thicken, and added 2 more cups of water.  Let it thicken one more time, tasted the couscous and it needed a bit more water (the couscous was gummy like), I then added almost another 1 cup.  Stir, let thicken one more time, PERFECTION!! This took about 25 minutes all in all. Reduce heat to low/simmer.

-Let's add in our amazing cream cheese now shall we...

-Keep stirring and incorporating/melting in the cream cheese till you have an amazing bowl of goodness.  Turn off  heat!
Taste for seasonings, do you need a smidgen more sugar?  Salt?.  Adjust as needed.

-Now serve as a soup (DELICIOUS), or let it thicken for just a few minutes and serve with the amazing kebabs as a base! Either way, this is the most delectable couscous ever!  But wait, wait!!!
Let's bring this over the top!  Let's top this scrumptious couscous off with just the most amazing topping... are you ready?  Caramelized walnuts. 

-In a small saute pan add your walnuts and sugar.  Over low-medium heat, stirring constantly, saute your nuts till you smell the wonderful nutty aroma, and the walnuts start to become golden.  About 3-4 minutes.  Turn off heat and immediately transfer to a small (non plastic) bowl.

-Top your couscous with the caramelized walnuts... and get ready for the "mmmm" sweet crunch factor!!

 So speaking of delectable...
Have you noticed the amazing spatulas in my pics?  Did you notice the quality?  I mean super expensive "drool factor" quality? You did? COOL!!  Man do I have a gift for you!!!

Dexas HERE has provided me with an amazing top of the art collection of their kitchen gadgets. 
I have to be honest with you guys, these silicone spatulas are the best quality I have ever handled!!
I absolutely fell in love with their Beechwood gadgets immediately (seen in pics above). 
They are super cool in design and the quality is the best EVER!!!  They are durable in design and just absolutely a dream in the kitchen! 
The Beechwood handles fit perfectly in my hand while cooking, and the silicone spatulas were absolutely resilient to anything the home cook can come up with!!

Look at how beautiful these are.

I know right?  How would you like your very own set?  All before the holiday's?  How totally cool is that!  
Can you just imagine yourself in the kitchen with these??  What goodies are you going to make?

Dexas has graciously agreed to ship a set to my lucky winner directly.  Your choices are green as in my pics or purple as shown above.
You have 7 (yes seven) chances to win!  Are you ready??

Just a little comment as to why you want to win these gadgets and what you plan on doing with them. That's your first entry. 

If you want additional entries you can do as such; 

1) Like Dexas on Facebook.  Dexas Facebook
Leave a comment on their FB page telling them you did so thru me, then come back and leave a comment here as well.

2) Like me on Facebook.  Link above; leave me a comment stating so.  If you already like me on FB leave me a comment stating so.

3) Subscribe to my page, never miss another post.  Leave me a comment stating so.

4) Follow Dexas on Twitter.  Dexas Twitter
Leave me a comment telling me so.

5) Follow me on Pinterest.  Pinterest
Leave me a comment telling me so.  If you already follow me, then tell me so in the comment.

6) Follow me on Twitter.  Didi's Twitter

That's it, seriously, no hoops, no loops and an absolutely gorgeous high value, total quality prize, all before the holiday's!!

*Contest open to legal residents of the Contintenal US.  Must be 18 years old or older to enter*

Giveaway will be open till 12/16/12 @ 11:59PM Pacific time.

The winner will be chosen thru

Winner will be announced on Monday, December 17th and the winner has 24 hrs to contact me with their email and address information as/for the manufacturer to be able to ship directly to winner.

Still love my green, and the stainless steel??  Well they just rock!!

Good luck everyone and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Dishin with Didi and Dexas!!

*Disclosure: I have been compensated for the product. All reviews are strictly my own.

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Awesome!! I want to win these cuz I have an addiction to kitchen scraper spatulas.. haha.. I want them all. I dont have any silicone ones though.. pout pout.. ;)

  2. I now like Dexas on Facebook!

  3. I like you on Facebook.. I even like you in real life.. haha..

  4. Of course, I subscribe to your page!

  5. Now I follow Dexas on Twitter!

  6. I follow Didi on Twitter.. (Im such a follower! ;) )

  7. I follow you on Pinterst too... Of course! :)
    Good luck to ME!! :D

  8. And WOW, Didi.. that couscous & kebab look absolutely heavenly.. I want to come to your house for dinner.. :)

  9. I want to win these because I have no spatulas. You heard me right, NONE! You have sold me on the quality! I have a slight obsession to any and everything pumpkin and I LOVE couscous as well so I plan to make this very dish WITH the kabobs :)

  10. I have "liked" and commented on Dexas' Facebook page.

  11. I already "like" you on Facebook!

  12. I am now an official email subscriber of Dishin With Didi :)

  13. I am following Dexas on Twitter

  14. I am already a follower on Pinterest

  15. I am already a follower on Twitter - geez! I didn't realize I was such a stalker and follow you everywhere you go! ;P

  16. I'd love to have these just because I love new kitchen gadgets, lol. They do look amazing though and I love the green too!

  17. The couscous looks FAB Didi!! I would love some wonderful new gadgets for Christmas! Who wouldn't?? Oh the fun I could have!

  18. I LIKED Dexas on facebook and left a comment.

  19. I already LIKE (love!) you on facebook!

  20. I already subscribe to your page!

  21. I already follow you on Pinterest!

  22. I need these cooking gadgets a lot. It has been years since I have updated my kitchen gadgets. I would use them for everything from stirring to serving.

  23. I want to win these kitchen gadgets because I love to cook and bake and you can NEVER have enough spatulas!

  24. I could really use these mine are old and believe it or not a little bent, so to get me back on the straight these would have a happy home.

  25. Folled Dexas on Twitter and FB. Already follow my Didi Girl everywhere else.. Thanks!

  26. Didi,
    That couscous reminds me of a dish my grandma used to make with pumpkin and sage over pasta. I have been craving that, so I am totally making this this weekend! I like you on Facebook!

  27. I follow you on pinrest an Love seeing you pop up on my page with delicious looking pins!

  28. I now like Dexas on Facebook and love the lime green spoons!

  29. I subscribe to your page! And truly get a little giddy when I get a new post!

  30. Check-- Liked you on Facebook and left a comment stating so.

  31. I now follow Dexas on twitter!

  32. Ha, I tweeted to Dexas and followed them that I followed you!

  33. Followed you on Twitter and tweeted a message to you too! :-)

  34. I did everything but tell you how wonderful your recipe looks and sounds!

  35. What I plan to do with them??? Cook lots of yumminess!!!!!!!!! I love silicone utensils!!! I used them in everything...they especially work great right now for my my homemade caramels and fudges!!! You know the recipes that insist on a wooden spoon??? I use silicone instead!!! Fabulous!!!

  36. I already receive you emails! :)

  37. I already like you on FB :)

  38. I already follow you on Pinterest! :)

  39. I liked Dexas on FB! :)

  40. Unfortunately, I don't twitter :(

  41. I'm an an avid cook :) It's my hobby gone wild so I'd definitely use these in practical ways; to cook with! I love the colors and the pretty shapes.

  42. I would love to win these beautiful spatulas because I want to cook like Didi! I'd use them to cook delicious healthy meals.

  43. Thanks for the idea of using squash instead! I liked the recipe but not a fan of pumpkin. I will give it a whirl :)

  44. I am a subscriber to all of the above! I could use these tools in my every day baking and cooking! Thanks for the chances to win!

  45. And BTW this recipe sounds delish!

  46. Thanks for having me over love it, I already like on FB, liked Dexas, follow you on Pinterest, not a tweeter LOL I love kitchen gadgets

  47. Oh I subscribed too!!! did all but tweets

  48. Hi Didi! Oh I'd love these, I could use them to try to cook as good as you!!

  49. I like you on Facebook :)

  50. I follow you on Twitter

  51. And, I follow you on pinterest

  52. I subscribed to your page. LOVE your page, btw :-)

  53. I follow Dexas on twitter

  54. I just liked Dexas on FB, and left them a comment

  55. I would love to win this! I love to cook and bake so this would be a great addition in my kitchen.

  56. I liked Dexas on FB and left them a comment.

  57. I already like you my dear on FB!

  58. I am an email subscriber already for your updates.

  59. I just added Dexas to follow on Twitter.

  60. I just joined Pinterest and now follow you!

  61. I already follow you on Twitter. :)
    Thank you for the giveaway!!!!

  62. FB...Dexas and left comment re:you
    Already follow you on pintrest, FB friends and Soups On,
    and subscribe. (even talk FB chatter at times)
    Don't do Twitter under myself-only for nonprofit org

    I'd love some new spatulas for Christmas... esp silicone ones. I have one (PC) spatula now