Every year, we look forward to gathering around the table with friends and family to be thankful – but many times we end up feeling less than great when we can’t get up from the couch because we’re too full and feeling gross after the big meal.
So why stick with the same ol’-same ol’? Lighten up your Thanksgiving but keep your favorite flavors in this remix of the classics. Then, instead of recovering on the couch, enjoy the extra time to spend with the folks you don’t see very often.
Sweet Potato Boats with Couscous “Stuffing”
This recipe can be a vegetarian main or a side. If it is a main, plan two boats per person. If it is a side, plan one.
For four side-sized servings, you will need:
- 2 Yams (technically, sweet potatoes are the yellow ones)
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Israeli Couscous
- 2 cups Vegetable Stock
- Pinch of Coarse Salt
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ cup diced White or Yellow Onion
- ½ cup diced Celery
- 1 clove Garlic, diced
- ¼ cup roughly chopped Walnuts
- ½ cup diced Apple
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Dried Cranberries
Prep time: 1 hour Active prep time: 20 minutes
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Prep the yams by washing them, scrubbing the skins gently and poking holes scattered across the surface with a fork to vent steam. Wrap the yams individually in foil and bake at 425 for about 45 minutes. They are done when a fork slides in easily.
Begin prepping the couscous filling about 20 minutes into the potato cooking time.
Start by bringing the vegetable stock, coarse salt and apple cider vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and cook until al dente – about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and fluff occasionally as you continue to prep the other ingredients.
Heat a medium skillet on medium heat and toast the walnuts for about five minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan and allow to heat for 2 minutes or so. Then add the onions, celery and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently.
When the onions are translucent, add in the cranberries, apples, walnuts and couscous, stirring frequently. Bring everything up to the same temperature and don’t cook them beyond that stage. Allow to sit in the pan on the lowest heat, or take off the heat completely while you prep the potatoes.
When the yams are cooked through, remove from the foil and slice them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to dig out a 1-inch-wide trench in the inside of each trench, leaving at least a half inch of potato on all sides. Spoon the couscous mixture into the boat. Sprinkle a few extra dried cranberries on top.
Transfer to a serving platter after they are filled (not all of the couscous will make it into the boat on the first try!)
Rebekah Hubbard writes PDX Food Love. PDXfoodlove is about cooking at home – about learning, experimenting and having fun with your family. Anyone can be an artist in the kitchen. Day-to-day Rebekah is a graphic design professional, outdoor and running enthusiast, plastic guitar aficionado and a slightly snarky girl next door.