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Happy Shrimp Couscous

Trying to get a move on with trying new dishes. I've been falling back on cooking familiar dishes but have still made a reasonable dent in my goal to try 50 new receipes. Any nominations for yummy and/or easy recipes to help nudge me along are welcomed.

I made this couscous dish up! That surprised me. And Brian really likes it. The first time I made it, he was disappointed that there wasn't enough for seconds. The seasoned shrimp mixes well with the crunch of the pine nuts. The cranberries add a bit of sweetness. Part of me wants to add a vegetable to the mix but I can't decide what to use. Peas? Diced carrots? Spinach? I just don't know. But I hope you enjoy this recipe. It tastes great and doesn't require much effort.






Happy Shrimp Couscous
1 small onion (minced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
shrimp (1-2 cups?) (shells removed)
Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup couscous
some minced parsley to garnish (optional)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Soak the cranberries in a little hot water to plump them up a bit.

  2. In a medium-size pot with high sides, bring a cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. When it reaches a boil, stir in the couscous, cover and set aside for at least 5 minutes.

  3. Heat vegetable in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir until they start to become tranlucent. Add garlic and keep stirring for another minute or two.

  4. Add shrimp and sprinkle Old Bay seasoning over the mixture. Stir until shrimp is done cooking.

  5. Add the shrimp mixture, cranberries, and toasted pine nuts to the couscous mixture and mix well.

  6. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.



Note: This is enough for a light dinner for 2. Next time around, for a slightly more filling dinner for 2, I went with 1.5 cups couscous and 1.5 cups water.


photo of Happy Shrimp Couscous


thread at food_porn




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i love couscous, especially with cranberries, this sounds yummy. the only thing i can think of for vegetable would be maybe a root like beet? i don't know. i've been on a roasted beet kick recently though so it could just be crazy talk :)

along those lines though, a really easy recipe for a side dish is to get a bunch of different varieties of beets, cut the tops off, put them in aluminum foil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and roast them in the oven for an hour or so. they peel fairly easily after they've cooled a bit, but the red ones stain your hands so you might want to use gloves.

I haven't eaten much in the way of beets. Would beets work with shrimp? I think the beets I've eaten thus far have come from a can. I might give your recipe a try. It's always nice to expand my vegetable repertoire. What do beets taste like? Starchy? Sweet?

Mmm, I think peas would be a nice add to this one. This reminds me of a curried couscous recipe I like to make. Just add some curry powder and some fresh citrus juice.

Have you made mapo tofu yet? It's quick, easy, and healthy, especially if you use a fiber thickener instead of cornstarch for the sauce.

curry powder, eh? OK...I'll try that next time. I'm not a fan of mapo tofu unfortunately. Is corn starch unhealthy? I tend to use that to thicken gravies and sauces.

Yup, curry and citrus--the acid is a really nice touch, and the dish can be pretty bland without it. Some parsley and green or red onion is nice, too.

Corn starch isn't unhealthy unless you're counting carbs and calories for dietary concerns--it's typically a no-no for low-carb dieters and diabetics. By itself, what ends up on your place isn't bad (5-7 carbs), but in addition to what you have throughout the day ... eh, well, it adds up.

Oh ok...I get it now. Thanks!

I went to a dinner party recently where someone brought coucous with dried cranberries and if I remember correctly, there was zucchini it to as well. Perhaps some zucchini next time? Which kind of couscous did you use? I've heard that some are better than others, do you have a favorite brand?

Oooh....zucchini is a possibility. I like zucchini. I just used a box of whole wheat couscous from Trader Joes since it's the least expensive couscous I've come across. If you hear of better kinds, do let me know!

Mmmm, this sounds yummy. Edamame would be nice.

Edamame? Where am I supposed to find that? (actually...maybe I saw some frozen edamame at Trader Joe's) That sounds like a good possibility too. Thanks!

trader joe's has shelled edamame. i usually have some in my freezer...

oh ok. Good to know. Thanks!

That looks delicious! I do a veggie couscous that is kind of similar. I sautee onions, carrots, garlic and some diced red bell pepper. If I have a little spinach or greens, those go in too. Then the couscous with chicken stock, some ras al hanout (moroccan spice), raisins and canned garbanzo beans.

Oh nice. I'll keep your veggie couscous in mind to try some time. (minus the ras al hanout since I don't know where I'm going to find that and my spice cabinet is threatening to take over the whole cabinet area). Thanks!

My spice cabinet literally takes up a whole cabinet, lol.

I actually ran out of ras al hanout the other day and made a substitute of cumin, allspice and cayenne pepper. Not exactly the same thing - but vaguely similar.

Did you use a boxed couscous? or did you make it yourself. I am not sure about how long you had to cook it for before you set it aside covered. I have been wanting to try couscous ever since i saw bizzare foods with andrew zimmerman. He was in Morocco.

I just used a box of whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe's since it's the least expensive option I've seen around. I'm a big fan of couscous for being really really fast to cook. Basically you bring the water to a boil, take it off the heat, dump in the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes. It's really fast...basically it just needs to absorb the water. Then you can fluff it with a fork before serving.

Well i have a trader joes near me. Do you think i could find that 5 season spice there also?

I don't know about 5-spice. When I was in a regular big grocery store in Boston, I did notice that McCormick had a bottle of "Chinese Five Spice" in the fancier spices section.

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