August 6th, 2013
I feel like asparagus is a severely underrated vegetable. Sure, if you buy it off-season, it can be pricey but it’s such a great nutritious, easy to prepare veggie. Wikipedia tells me, “ It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.” I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I often buy a stalk of asparagus, cut off the bottom inch and a half, throw them in boiling water for less than a minute, and then drain it in the sink. I don’t even wash it, really, since I figure it’s because sanitized in the boiling water but if I shouldn’t be doing that, please feel free to let me know. The whole process takes just a few minutes and I usually dip them in ketchup and eat them like fries. Another great way to eat asparagus is to roast them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick they are. To prep, just pre-heat oven, line a baking sheet with foil, put trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper and throw them in the oven. If you’re super fancy, you can put some parmesan cheese on it before you put it in the oven.
But I digress, since this is my salmon couscous recipe…
I won’t tell you how I heard about it since it requires me divulging my obsession with a certain celebrity, but it’s a Jamie Oliver recipe that I adapted to my own a bit. I have to admit, even though I really enjoyed watching a few episodes of Food Revolution, I never tried any of his recipes. In my mind, British food meant canned beans on toast. But I saw this and thought that it sounded like the perfect summer meal – full of color and nutrition!
2 servings of couscous (I used 3/4 cup dried whole wheat couscous and made it per the box, which amounted to almost 2 cups which was too much)
1/2 pound salmon fillet, skin on, scaled and de-boned
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin strips
5-6 small stalks of asparagus
crushed red pepper
1 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
juice of ½ lemon
1 small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Cook up your couscous per the instructions on the box. It usually takes about five minutes and it super easy.
Cut up asparagus into bite-sized pieces as well as the zucchini.
The salmon that you get should be deboned and without scales but with the skin on for maximum flavor. Unfortunately, my salmon skin had scales so instead of taking the time to remove them, I just cut off the skin. But how beautiful is this salmon?!
There was a huge sale at Whole Foods (this salmon was originally $30 a pound and was on sale for $20 a pound). I’m sure I wasted it by putting it in the frying pan (sorry, Mommy!) as you probably could’ve eaten it as sashimi. In any case, any kind of salmon at any quality will do since you’re really jazzing it up with all the other ingredients. In fact, you can also use frozen salmon for this dish.
So take your salmon and cut it into bite-sized strips.
Once you’ve done that, put some olive oil in a pan at medium high heat and throw in the salmon. After about a minute, throw in the asparagus and zucchini as well. Season with some salt and pepper. This step takes less than 5 minutes.
At some point (and you can do this before you cook up the salmon), you’re going to take your couscous and dump it into a huge bowl. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and lemon juice and mix it up.
By now your salmon should be done cooking (if you made your couscous as you were saute-ing the salmon) and should look something like this:
And you’re done! Seriously! So easy!! Put some of your couscous in a bowl and spoon some salmon and veggies on top. Oh, and don’t forget to add a generous serving of red pepper flakes if spice is your thing. There isn’t a lot of salt and other flavoring in this dish so the red pepper flakes and the freshness of the veggies MAKES the meal. If you’re not into spice, you may want to add a touch more salt. Jamie Oliver says you can put some plain Greek yogurt on top but mine was just fine without.
A colorful, quick, nutritious and delicious meal! This is great to make in the summer because you’re only using your stove for a few minutes. AND because you’re only cooking your veggies for a minimal amount of time, they still taste fresh and delicious. I hate soggy vegetables.
Give this refreshing meal a try! You’ll feel so good about yourself after you eat it, I promise you.