Sunday, April 24, 2011

What's for dinner? Couscous with chicken, asparagus, and peas

Sometimes during the week it can be tough to figure out a quick and nutritious dinner.  With just a few simple ingredients, I was able to put this dinner on the table in a few minutes.  Very little cooking, just chop and go!

I always try and keep a few ingredients on hand that I know I can make a meal out of:
Frozen chicken breast: we buy it at Costco. We sometimes try and figure out something creative to make with it, but a lot of the time, it's just chicken breasts and veggies.
In the pantry I always have couscous and quinoa.  Both are very satisfying and with a few other ingredients you have a quick, healthy dinner.

Basic ingredients:
  • Couscous (I used Trader Joe's)
  • Chicken, we had frozen chicken breasts that I let thaw over night.  If you want to be really quick, you could use a rotisserie chicken.
  • Vegetables of choice.  I was hoping for fresh asparagus, but the shelf was bare at the store, so I opted for frozen and it worked fine. I also threw in frozen peas, which are always tasty.
Couscous is one of my favorite things to cook with.  It is so versatile and adds a lot of substance to a meal.  Darling husband told me he even prefers it to quinoa.  Both are delicious, you can't go wrong.


The good thing about this dinner is that you can basically customize it to your family's taste.   
Get creative, and use your favorite veggies, either fresh or frozen.

Prepare couscous following directions on the box. Most boxes will tell you to prepare with water.  I always use chicken broth, and you should to.  Couscous will expand when cooked. For 2 people, 1 cup is enough, but I would double it for 4 or more.

While the couscous is cooking, prepare your chicken.
I flattened out the two chicken breasts with a meat pounder and seasoned with salt and pepper, and cut into one inch chunks.  Cook these in a large pan, heated with oil.  Brown on each side for about four minutes or so.  Just check to make sure it's cooked all the way through.

During the last few minutes of cooking the chicken add your vegetables.  I used one cup of peas and about 3/4 the bag of asparagus spears.  I cut the spears in thirds to make them easier to eat.   Cook until veggies are tender.  Combine the chicken and veggies with your prepared couscous.    Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.

Nice dinner..... prepared, cooked, and on the table in under 30 minutes!