Hello lovelies! This is a continuation of the meals we had last week with sweet potatoes. It is adapted from a recipe off the back of a box of Belazu Barley Couscous. While I cannot tolerate wheat, I can still tolerate barley, oats, spelt and rye in small doses. We used to buy this couscous all the time when we lived in England because couscous cooks in four minutes and is a great staple to have on hand. Unfortunately, we cannot find barley couscous in Wales so I have had to substitute.
But no worries. Adopt, Adapt and Improve is my motto. If you can eat wheat, just use regular couscous for this recipe. if you can find barley couscous, then by all means use it as it has a lovely nutty flavour. If you need it Gluten free then use unroasted buckwheat groats. It cooks quickly and had a similar texture to couscous. Don't get KASHA which is roasted buckwheat groats.
The original recipe was just for caramelised onions cooked in a sweet syrup with raisins and pinenuts. I knew I could make it more of a meal by adding chickpeas and roasted sweet potato and cutting back on the "butter" and eliminating the pinenuts as they are frightfully expensive (150g for £3.85 at Tesco!!) It still comes out plenty sweet and rich and decadent my way.
Adapted Belazu Sweet potatoes, caramelised onions and raisins with chickpeas
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
1-2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
half of a red pepper
(I am not using oil here to roast as there are 2 TB non dairy butter in the other part of the recipe and that is enough fat for us. But do what you like)
2 white onions, thinly sliced into rainbows
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 TB dairy free butter
3TB liquid sweetener like maple syrup, agave or golden syrup.
half a cup (125ml) water
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
When you put the sweet potato and pepper in to roast then start the stove top action.
Roast for 15 minutes, remove from oven and stir and then roast for 15 more minutes.
Stove top action:
1.Add everything above except the chickpeas and bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on until the onions are soft and golden. if it looks like it is drying out then add a splash more water.
2. Closer to the end of the roasting time cook your grain.
If you are making couscous:
Decide how much couscous you are making. Add the juice of half a lemon and a small clove of smashed garlic to the boiling water and add the couscous according to the package directions. Cover and let stand for four minutes then fluff with a fork.
If you are using buckwheat groats:
Decide how much you are making and follow the instructions for cooking it. My container says rinse thoroughly, add groats to cold water and bring to the boil and then simmer for six minutes. I like to rinse them after they cook as they can have a bit of scum on them. Then I pop them back in the hot pan to reheat them with the juice of half a lemon and the small clove of smashed garlic.
When the veg are roasted, add them with the chickpeas to the onion mixture. Serve over couscous or buckwheat or whatever grain you choose. We ended up mixing our buckwheat groats into the onion vegetable mixture just to make it easier. I also felt it needed a hint more sweetness, so I added a drizzle of golden syrup before serving.
This is sweet and a savoury at the same time. The lemon and garlic add a nice contrast to the sweetness of the syrupy onions and sweet potato, so don't leave them out. Or do leave them out. this is totally your call. Just make it!