Monday, August 6, 2012

Healthy, Fast and Easy: Shrimp, Mandarin and Asparagus Whole Wheat Couscous

I'll be honest, I've always been one who has to keep a really close eye on my weight. I've fluctuated up and down my whole life and have really had to come to terms with the fact that I will never be a 110 pound beauty but a curvy goddess is my ultimate, healthy goal. As a woman, I have come to love and embrace my body the way it is but I know, I can only achieve this security when I am taking the best care of myself. I have to maintain regular exercise and a low fat diet, almost always in order to maintain the weight I like to be at. There are times where I am lazy or stressed out and then up goes my weight. At the end of the day, I am somewhat grateful for these struggles. It's taken me about 15 years to figure out my body and what it takes to lose and maintain weight, every body is different and there is not fail proof formula to solve what oh so many of us struggle with. I am glad I have figured this all out by this stage in my life and I don't have to deal with it later on, because as anyone has had these struggles knows, they are not easy. Before my vacation, I had lost 15 pounds, I stayed away from my food blog, firstly, because I was busy but I also think a little subconsciously because I did not know how to balance blogging and my strict diet. After my vacation, I took it easy on the diet and focused on having fun and sharing some of my favorite recipes with you, which happen to be very fattening. This week, I start back to my normal healthy habits and exercise. I don't want to drop the forbidden word: diet, (though I am antsy to get rid of 10 pounds) just healthy. I'll blog as normal, I still have plans for some sweets to bake for friends in the future so fear not, but I will also be sharing some of my healthier favorites as well - today is one of them. This is a super easy and quick to prepare dinner, its perfect for week nights or as lunches for the work day. It also is very filling and packed with protein!

Shrimp, Mandarin and Asparagus Whole Wheat Couscous
1 cup of dry whole wheat couscous
1/2 of a bunch of asparagus
1 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges
8 oz of thawed, cooked, cleaned, medium shrimp, more if desired  (I used Trader Joe's)

Prepare couscous as directed on the box. Prep asparagus, wash and snip the bottoms. In a large sauce pan, bring three inches of water to a boil, add the asparagus, cover and cook until al dente, about 6-8 minutes. I always stop the cooking of my asparagus by throwing them in an ice bath right after cooking. Just fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes, this will keep your asparagus al dente and a nice bright green color. Chop asparagus into about 1 inch pieces or larger if you like. By now, your couscous has been sitting on the oven, covered but done for a couple of minutes. Lightly stir in the asparagus and the mandarin oranges. Take the shrimp and rinse under water, drain. Add to couscous. Salt and pepper to taste. Viola! This whole dish takes about 15 minutes from prep to cook!


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