Monday, November 28, 2011

Asparagus Primavera

Today at work the email went out advising of the game plan for my division's apparently annual Christmas cookie exchange.  So I've been trying to remember my best cookie recipes all day, trying to figure out which one will give me the required five dozen to bring in.  All that cookie planning made me hungry!  Since I'm out for lunch tomorrow - a retirement lunch for my former manager - and craving cookies, I tried to eat healthier tonight.  Because life's about balance, right?

This recipe caught my attention because it's different from any of my standbys.  It's not often I'd pick couscous.  It's just not one of those things that occurs to me to make.  Plus, this dish isn't really a warm dish or a cold dish -- it's both.  But loads of veggies do speak to me, and I enjoy beans, so I gave it a whirl.  This one turned out to be a real treat for the senses -- it's kind of pretty for a supper...  I just should have used a bigger plate!

Asparagus Primavera
Makes: 4 servings

1 1/2 cups dried whole-grain couscous
1 lb asparagus, rinsed and bottoms cut off
8 oz carrots, cut into short sticks
4 oz baby corn, cut into bite-size pieces
1 15 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups loosely packed spinach, cut into strips
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp orange juice
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water, stir in the couscous, and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
 At the same time, boil another pot of water adding in the asparagus and carrots.  Simmer on low for 5 minutes, then drain.
In a large bowl, mix together the corn, beans, spinach, oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper.
Add in the cooked asparagus and carrots.
Serve over the couscous.

Source: slightly adapted from Best of Clean Eating Magazine, page 50.

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