Cranberry Couscous

My friend passed on a delicious cranberry couscous recipe to me a few years back (via¬†allrecipes.com), and I’ve made it here and there, usually for potlucks (with a few modifications). However, when I clicked¬†back on the recipe link recently, the original recipe had completely changed! Not sure when that happened, but I really like the first version, so here it is with the modifications (you can compare it to the recipe that’s currently up, linked above– there are pretty significant differences). I made it for Thanksgiving last week but I feel like the cranberries make it also appropriate for a Christmas meal, don’t you? ūüôā Recipe below is technically for 6, but I’d say that as a side, it can serve 8-10.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked¬†couscous
  • 3/4 cup dried¬†cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • juice from 1/4 orange

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All the ingredients– note that I only used 1/4 the orange, 1/4 of the onion, and 1 large persian cucumber and carrot each.

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In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cool for 10 minutes. Seed and chop cucumbers, carrots,  and onions.

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In a bowl, combine the couscous, cranberries, carrots, cucumber and red onion. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and juice of orange.

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Pour dressing over couscous mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate. Toast sliced almonds by stirring on pan at medium-high heat. Turn heat to low as soon as almonds begin to brown. Tip: It will take awhile for the almonds to start browning, but once they do, they will burn fast, so watch carefully!

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Just before serving, mix in almonds. This dish explodes with so many different flavors/textures… sweet, salty, soft, crunchy, chewy, etc. Party in your mouth!

I’d recommend you make this dish at least half a day before serving, to allow the couscous to soak in the flavors of the dressing. If you’re in a time crunch, let it sit for at least a couple hours in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Tina Made Baked White Fish with Veggies

I love white fish. I also love fast recipes. And delicious food. So when one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, recently posted a fish recipe described as a “super quick and delicious meal,” I jumped on it.

Their tutorial (linked above) was pretty self-explanatory, but I documented the steps anyway, with just a few changes (addition/omission of a couple ingredients). Also, I added an ingredients list (with exact amounts, because remember… I’m neurotic/a step-by-step cook… and maybe you are too).

This meal is perfect to make even if you’re only cooking for one! Which is usually annoying, but it totally works for this dish because it’s so simple. I’ve already made it twice!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 white fish fillet (I used tilapia once and swai once– both good)
  • 1/2 bundle of asparagus (about half pound)
  • 1 zucchini (added to original recipe)
  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter (halved from original recipe)
  • salt & pepper
  • rectangular piece of parchment paper (1.5 feet is plenty)
  • omitted from original recipe: fresh dill

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Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice zucchini into rounds and chop off ends of asparagus.

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Slice ~3/4 of lemon into thin slices. Fold parchment paper in half, and lay out zucchini and asparagus on one side of  parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Lay lemon slices on top. Squeeze juice of remaining 1/4 lemon onto veggies.

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Using a knife, chop up garlic cloves and mash together with butter. Season fish fillet with salt and pepper, then lay on top of lemon slices. Spread butter-garlic mash over top of the fish.

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Fold the second half of the parchment paper over the fish & veggies, and fold closed (a bit trickier than it looks..!). Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. Everything will steam inside the parchment.

Voila! All done. I cannot emphasize how fast and easy this is. It’s literally ~10 minutes to prep, and while it cooks for ~10 minutes in the oven, you can clean up your kitchen, so when you’re finished eating, there will be minimal dishes to do. EXCITING.

Enjoy!