• 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 pound washed Brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • lengthwise
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and cut in ½-inch dices
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut in ½-inch dices
  • 2 medium-sized fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut in ¾-inch dices
  • 8 springs fresh thyme (remove leaves from stems)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (can substitute chicken stock)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces Israeli couscous
  • 8 leaves fresh, minced sage
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil


  1. Wash and cut Brussel sprouts.
  2. Peel and prepare apples, parsnips, and carrots.
  3. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, chopped garlic, and shallots to a large sauté pan. Turn on a very low heat and allow the aromatics to infuse the oil, stirring every minute or two for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the same sauté pan, add remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir aromatics constantly and bring the pan to a medium heat (be careful not to burn).
  5. Add Brussel sprouts, sautéing for 5 minutes. Add apples, parsnips, and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes. Season vegetables with salt and pepper (to taste).
  6. Add 3/4 cup of vegetable stock to sauté pan. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add 1 ¼ cups of vegetable stock to a pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Add 8-ounces of Israeli couscous and fresh thyme leaves. Cover the pot and remove from heat.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Transfer warm couscous to clean serving bowl.
  10. Place autumn vegetables over the top of the couscous.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan, fresh minced sage and drizzle with truffle oil (optional garnish: chopped bacon).

Makes: 8 1-cup servings  Total Time: 45 minutes

Chef’s Name: Michelle McDonoughrecipe02
Family: Lily – 6-year-old Mastiff-Ridgeback mix
Community: Carlsbad
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, teaching people how to cook, nutrition, gardening, yoga, wine tasting, travel, spending time with family and friends
Favorite Local Activity: Playing beach volleyball at Ponto and shopping at the Carlsbad Village Farmers’ Market
About the Recipe: The fresh vegetables and herbs of the autumn season inspired this dish. I would cook this as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish for grilled and/or roasted meats. Leftovers served cold make a great salad!
About the Chef: My earliest memories involving food were my father planting a strawberry garden outside my bedroom window and my mother teaching me how to make strawberry shortcake. Little did I know growing, preparing, and eating fresh foods at such an early age would turn into a personal motivation and career!
In 2004, I graduated from The Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, OR. The contagious Northwest localism and farm-to-plate ingredients created a desire to learn more about seasons and regions, and inspired me to find new ways of preparing fresh foods to live a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. After graduation, I apprenticed in Denali National Park, AK and learned about wild game meats and fresh caught seafood. After Alaska, I accepted another apprenticeship at The Woodstock Inn in Vermont which advanced my culinary skills involving French cooking methods and classical New England cuisine. My third culinary adventure took me to Peru for four months, where I studied Peruvian cuisine. After honing my savory skills, I accepted a position with Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery in downtown San Francisco. This position plunged me into the art of artisanal scratch-baking by producing more than sixty baked goods all fresh daily. I currently work as a sales manager for Chuao Chocolatier in Carlsbad. The craft and creative workplace is very rewarding.
My passion is matched with a hospitable personality. I enjoy meeting people with varying degrees of cooking skills and experiences. My desire is to teach our community sustainable cooking skills and about the foods they eat, shaping healthy lives and families. To contact me visit