The Spice is Right

Tonight’s dinner was the best meal I’ve made lately.

No lie!

Maybe I’m just ready for fall spices and foods or maybe this just exceeded my expectations – either way! You should make this.


Some of my favorite fall flavors, mingling together in one bowl.

Butternut squash, sweet onion, cranberries, chickpeas, tomatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne.

Plus a great mix of textures: chewy brown rice, buttery squash, creamy chickpeas, crunchy almonds.


The recipe I used tonight was this Butternut-Squash Couscous from Food & Wine.

I ended up using brown rice instead of the couscous, cranberries in place of the raisins, and roasted/salted almonds for the topping, but the rest was exact.

This meal took less time to make than I was expecting, too, which is a nice surprise on a weeknight after a long day of work.

I always think that meals with winter squash will take forever to make because I have to chop them up and cook them, along with whatever else we’re having. It does take a few minutes to cut the squash, but this dish actually came together in time for me snap some pictures before the sun dipped behind the mountains.


To go along with the butternut mixture and brown rice, I also cooked some chicken in the oven that I coated with a mixture of salt, garlic, garam masala, and ancho chile powder. I was guessing on the spices to use and it turned out to be a good choice.


I already can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow night.

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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD & WINE archive.  As a FOOD & WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD & WINE.  I received a subscription to FOOD & WINE for my participation.



  1. That sounds like a perfect fall meal!! With the butternut squash and cranberries :) Yum! It actually looks a lot like something my mom and I made for Thanksgiving last year except that dish was made with acorn squash.

  2. Delicious…all those spices sound fabulous and very fall. And I love that chicken rub – sounds so tasty!

  3. Well, heeelloooo! It’s got butternut squash and almonds! Of course it’ll be terrific! But oh Brandi, Brandi…wherefor art thou runny egg? lol.

  4. I have a butternut squash waiting for me to try it – thanks for linking to the recipe!! It looks like a winner to me. Maybe I’ll tackle that tonight :)

    • You’ll love it!

      It would also make a great vegetarian/vegan dinner if you leave off the chicken and use veggie broth.

  5. I can imagine how flavorful and good that dish was! It sounds as if it was one of those dishes you eat slowly just to savor every bite!

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  7. ooo, this looks great and makes me feel all comfy inside :) definitely the perfect fall dish! great job! [chels]

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