Monday, January 3, 2011

Pearl Couscous with Shrimp

I have been trying really hard to add more protein to my diet.  I am normally perfectly  happy to eat all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and lots of carbs, but meat doesn't usually cross my mind.  It's not that I don't like meat, it's just that it is not the first thing that I think of when planning our meals for the week.  Now that I am in my third trimester of pregnancy it has come to my attention that I am supposed to seriously increase my protein intake.  I was probably eating less than enough to begin with, so I am really trying to be intentional about eating the protein- filled foods that I know I need.  This week is the first in my new protein rich life.  On our menu this week are 2 meals that include meat/fish.  This is already a big improvement so I am starting off strong!
We had this couscous for dinner tonight alongside a burnt carrot salad with garlic chips and goat cheese. I love couscous but hadn't made it in a long time, so I really enjoyed this.  The nuttiness of the couscous adds a nice solidity to the dish, as the rest of the flavors are pretty subtle.  The shrimp and zucchini add a nice texture.  This was a nice healthy meal that leaves you feeling satisfied but not weighed down after a couple weeks of excessive holiday eating.  The couscous came together easily, but looks beautiful and tastes great.  Use Israeli, or pearl couscous.  It has a chewier texture than traditional couscous.

Pearl Couscous with Shrimp
*Recipe from The Chicago Tribune

8 oz Israeli (Pearl) Couscous
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, or zucchini, diced
1/2 pound raw, peeled, deveined shrimp, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 Cup shredded fresh parmesan
2-3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro or chives
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook couscous as directed on package.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick skillet.  Add onion and cook until golden-about 5 minutes.  Add squash and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink-about 2 minutes.

Place couscous in a serving bowl.  Stir in shrimp mixture.  Stir in cheese and cilantro.  Season with salt.

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