Couscous, a Quick Dinner’s Best Friend (Baked Shrimp & Couscous w/ Asparagus & Roasted Red Peppers)

2 Aug

I cook couscous a lot when I’m looking for a quick-cooking starch.  Made from semolina wheat, traditional couscous requires extensive preparation and is usually steamed.  Lucky for us, the instant couscous (pre-steamed) widely available at standard grocers takes less time to prepare than dried pasta or grains.  Couscous, with its light fluffy texture, is also very versatile.  For this quick dinner, I topped a dressed up version of basic couscous with simple baked shrimp.  Total preparation time?  Under 15 minutes. 


Couscous with Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers

1 cup instant couscous
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
6-8 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, packed, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Bring broth and water to boil in a medium sauce pan.  Add in asparagus and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and add in couscous and roasted peppers.  Cover and let sit for 8 minutes.

Uncover and fluff couscous with a fork.

Simple Baked Shrimp

1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled but with tails intact (for looks, you can peel them all the way if you don’t care)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. 

Whisk together last 5 ingredients in medium bowl.  Add in shrimp and toss to cover shrimp with marinade.

Arrange shrimp in a single layer on a large cooking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Bake shrimp for 8-10 minutes or until completely opaque.

Lime Dijon Dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp dried parsley

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl to make dressing.

For Assembly:

1. Scoop 1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked Couscous with Asparagus and Roasted Red Pepper onto center of plate. 
2. Arrange Simple Baked Shrimp around couscous.
3. Drizzle with Lime Dijon Dressing.

All under 15 minutes.

Serves 2-3.

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