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.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I’m finally back on track with the blog people.

I’ve been running around like crazy (as always) but this time, I was getting ready for my first vacation with Dave in a year and a half!!  We just returned late last night and I cannot wait to tell you all about it soon.  Our trip took us to Seattle and Vancouver… and was full of lots of fun sightseeing, exploring, family time, and of course good food & drink.

The view from our run in Vancouver.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Worth torturing myself for a few miles while on vacation...

The view from our run in Vancouver. Absolutely gorgeous! Worth torturing myself for a few miles while on vacation…

I just wanted to make you really jealous and give you a preview… this beautiful picture was taken on our run along the beach one morning in Vancouver.  How gorgeous?

Feeling selfish lately after basically neglecting you all, I thought it’d be only fair to give you a new recipe today… a really awesome one.  I saw this recipe on a blog that I’m just loving, it’s called Iowa Girl Eats.  Check it out!  I think Kristin’s pictures on her blog are absolutely amazing.  Anyway, I saw her Mediterranean Orzo Salad in March and realized that I had all of the ingredients at home… my favorite type of recipe.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Makes 4 Servings as a side dish

Ingredients:
4oz Orzo
1 handful Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 5oz container Reduced Fat Feta Crumbles
1/4 cup Olives, sliced 
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped (I used my handy dandy freeze-dried herbs again)
2 Tablespoons Capers
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (2 Lemons)
1 teaspoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Sea Salt, Black Pepper
1/4 cup EVOO or other Oil (grapeseed)
Directions:
1.  Cook Orzo in a large pot of salted water, boiling until al dente as the box instructs.  Drain, set aside.
2.  Make the dressing.  Whisk or blend the lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper (pinches of each, taste test).  Slowly drizzle in the oil while pulsing the blender or whisking if you’re not using the blender.  
3.  Combine tomatoes, feta, olives, parsley, and capers in a large bowl.  Add cooked orzo and the dressing.  Toss to combine.  
*This can be served warm or room temp.  Also, if you’re planning on not eating right away, save some dressing on the side so you can top it off before you’re ready to eat it.  The pasta will probably have soaked up a lot overnight.*

Recipe slightly adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats

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I decided to make this to eat as a side for both lunch and dinner.  It was a delicious change of pace for us, since I rarely ever make pasta salads.  The pasta salad had such great flavor from the freshness of the lemon juice and the salty from the olives and capers.  Yummy, simple yet special.

You should be warned though that I don’t like my pasta salad drenched in oil, so I halved the oil that the original recipe calls for.  If you don’t like yours on the dry side, I’d recommend doubling the dressing.

Be on the lookout for my post in the next week or so about our trip!