Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Summah-summah-summah timeeeeeee…

will smith

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I told myself it was appropriate to blast my favorite Will Smith song in my car with the windows down?  How has this summer gone by so fast?!  I’m still holding on to the last few weeks of summer.  I need to make it last!

I think there’s no better way to celebrate the summer than eating fresh summer food.  I’ve been indulging in berry smoothies and farm fresh squash and zucchini.  Delish!  I’ve also realized our meals have been way lacking fresh seafood this summer.  What was I thinking?!  To catch up on everything I’ve missed, I wanted to try a new recipe from this month’s Cooking Light… a recipe with CLAMS!

Have you ever made clams at home?  It’s so easy!  I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try it out myself.  Go ahead, pick up a pound of clams and try it out…

Clams with Israeli Couscous

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 finely chopped yellow onion 
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Israeli couscous 
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1lb Littleneck Clams, thoroughly washed/scrubbed
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Green Onions or Parsley
  • 2 lemon wedges 

Ingredients:

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add couscous and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add the wine and cook for 1 more minute or until most of the liquid evaporates.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, salt, crushed red pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 7 minutes.  
  3. Nestle the clams in the couscous mixture.  Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until the clams are open.
  4. Discard any clams that have not opened, don’t eat those!  Sprinkle with green onions and serve with a lemon wedge.  

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light

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This recipe rocks.  The couscous and the clams are so flavorful from the wine and red sauce… I even snuck some extra crushed red pepper in there… of course.  I gotta tell you, after trying this dish, I’m not only a clam convert but I’m LOVING the Israeli Couscous!  I can’t wait to taste what’s next.

If you don’t have something in mind to make this weekend, pick up some clams and try this one out, savor the summer!

Shrimp & Couscous w/ Yogurt-Hummus Sauce

This recipe reminds me of Israel.  Sighhhhh…. everything with hummus does.  Really.  That might be because hummus is all I ate there.

Anyway, this “20-Minute” simple recipe didn’t seem so simple to me at first.  I rarely make shrimp (Dave will. not. eat it) and I’ve never made couscous before.  So on the recipe anxiety scale of 1-10 (1 being toasting bread and 10 being a Baked Alaska) this shrimp dish was at a 6… I was worried!

To make matters worse, I even had to make this dish with shrimp… and another with chicken for Dave…

But (would you believe it) it all turned out fine.  The Food Network knows their shit.  This IS an easy recipe, and it DID take me 20 minutes.  LOL.  All that worrying for nothing.  That’s never happened to me before… totally new experience……… ………

Anyway, let me just tell you… it’s freakin’ delicious.  So good.  It’s like, lick the bowl good.  And- yes, I did.

Shrimp & Couscous w/ Yogurt-Hummus Sauce

Makes 4 Servings of couscous salad and sauce.  I made 1 serving of shrimp, 1 of sliced chicken breast for Dave, and the rest of the couscous salad I used for another meal!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Fat Free Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon Hummus (I prefer Sabra if I didn’t make it myself)
1 teaspoon dried Dill or 1 Tablespoon Fresh 
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
4oz Shrimp per Serving (I used frozen that I thawed)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon Hot Hungarian Paprika (or regular if you don’t have hot… and add a dash of Cayenne!)
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
Directions:
1.  Make the couscous.  Combine the couscous, raisins and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups very hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until all of the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.  It’s magic!

2.  Make the sauce.  Stir together the yogurt, hummus, dill,  and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in another bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator.

3.  Cook the shrimp.  Toss the shrimp, tomatoes, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and hot paprika together.  Cook in a small saute pan over medium heat until the shrimp is cooked through (maybe 4 minutes?  It does not take long.  If you’re using pre-cooked shrimp, just heat through.)  Drizzle the lemon juice ontop of the shrimp-tomato mixture.  

4.  Assemble!  Fluff the couscous with a fork.  Place the couscous in a bowl or plate, add the shrimp mixture ontop.  Scrape any of the saucy drippings from the pan into the sauce and stir.  Place a dollop of sauce ontop of the shrimp/tomato mixture.  ENJOY!

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Food Network Kitchens

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Cookin' the shrimp/chicken and tomatoes

Cookin’ the shrimp/chicken and tomatoes

One chicken and one shrimp (with a few pieces of chicken snitched!  :) )

One chicken and one shrimp (with a few pieces of chicken snitched! 🙂 )

YUM!  I topped mine with some parsley.

YUM! I topped mine with some parsley.

Mixed all up, this is one delicious meal!

Mixed all up, this is one delicious meal!

 

See, that totally wasn’t hard at all!  Once you think about it in four simple steps:  Make the Couscous, Make the Sauce, Cook the Shrimp, and Assemble!  That’s all!  It was so tasty and different than anything I’ve ever made before.  I really enjoyed a break from all of the spicy food we normally eat.

Mexican-Style Couscous Salad

OMG!  I’m sitting here drooling while I’m thinking about this lunch I made! I cannot wait to share this recipe with you, it will for sure be a lunch staple in our house from now on.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s so easily modifiable for your own tastes and pantry supplies.  I got the idea for this lunch from my dietitian, John.  His original recipe calls for Quinoa (which would be more protein, so use it if you have it!) but I had already made Couscous for a different recipe so I simply substituted this time around.

Mexican-Style Couscous Salad

Recipe for 1 Serving

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Couscous (or quinoa), cooked

1/3 cup Black Beans, rinsed

1/2 cup Chopped Broccoli, frozen

1/2 cup Mixed Vegetables, frozen (I used the “baby” vegetable mix with corn, peas, carrots, and green beans)

handful of Chopped Tomatoes

1/8 cup Shredded Cheese

2oz Cooked Chicken Breast, cubed (optional)

1/4 cup Salsa*

Directions:

Microwave the frozen veggies and then put everything in a tupperware for the following day.  Reheat if you want, it will also taste delicious room-temp.

Recipe adapted from John the Dietitian

*I HAVE to share this recipe for homemade salsa with you.  It was ridiculous how simple it was to make, how much it makes, and how amazing it tastes.  Shoutout to Dave, he actually made this himself!

This recipe came up because both Dave and I wanted to try something new for our lunch this week.  We pretty much bring all of our meals with us to work, to stay healthy and save money.  I love this recipe because I could use whatever I wanted and had on hand.  The chicken and couscous had already been made for a dinner, so I was able to use that without cooking anything extra.

I love this recipe for lunch, give it a try!

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