In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp of canola oil on medium heat. Add the beef stew pieces and brown on all sides for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the onion slices with the beef stew and sauté for a couple minutes.
Add the diced tomato, 3 cups broth, bay leaf, and cinnamon sticks. Mix together, cover, and simmer on medium heat for 60 minutes or until beef is tender. Adjust the liquid if required.
Add the butternut squash and carrots and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the zucchini and rinsed chickpeas and simmer for another 5 minutes or until all the vegetables have cooked through and the stew has thickened. Do not overcook vegetables.
To prepare the couscous, add 1.5 cups couscous into a bowl. Heat 1.5 cup of water and add it to the couscous. Cover the bowl for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
To serve the meal, plate the couscous in the middle and add the stew. Sprinkle the chopped parsley and enjoy.
-Another variation of this recipe is to roast the butternut squash in advance. Once roasted add the butternut squash to the stew with the chickpeas.
-You can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the beef stew. Note that it would take less time to make the stew this way. Start by sautéing the onion, then adding the diced tomato and spices. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the butternut and carrots. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the zucchini and chickpeas. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until all the vegetables have cooked through and the stew has thickened.