Happy What’s for Dinner? Wednesday! Tonight we’re making Soup and Salad.* For the soup, we’re preparing an Avocado and Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho with Scallops. For the salad, we’re making Asparagus Primavera with Couscous, White Beans, & Champagne Vinaigrette. Although your total cook time will be less than 35 minutes, you will need to chill your gazpacho for 1 hr before serving so plan accordingly. The “Salad” recipe will make twelve half-cup servings (recommended portion for tonight’s side). We suggest making the entire recipe and using your leftovers tomorrow as a healthy, protein-packed vegetarian lunch or dinner (recommended serving size as a meal: 1.5 cups). Here are the supplies you’ll need:
Soup Supplies for Four:
*recipe originally from the July/Aug 2010 edition of Clean Eating
2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
¾ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup scallions, chopped
3 tbsp whole cilantro
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¾ cup low-sodium tomato juice
1 avocado, peeled and pitted, divided (half + half)
½ tsp sea salt, divided
½ tsp pepper, divided
1 lb fresh bay scallops (the mini type)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
“Salad “Supplies-Makes 12 -half cup servings (tonight’s side) or 4 -1.5 cup servings:
1.5 cups dry whole-grain couscous
1 lb asparagus, rinsed and bottom thirds snapped off
8 oz carrots, cut into 2-inch long sticks
4 oz baby corn, cut in half lengthwise
15 oz cooked white Northern beans (or 1-15 oz can drained and rinsed well)
2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, cut into strips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tbsp champagne vinegar OR apple cider vinegar OR white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh jugo de naranja (orange juice)
1tsp dried dill
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Putting it ALL together….
1. Get chopping! Once all of your veggies are chopped, put them + ¼ tsp salt + 1/4 tsp pepper + half of your avocado into your blender. This means EVERYTHING except for your scallops, the other half of your avocado, 2tsp of olive oil, and ¼ tsp of both salt and pepper should be ready to mingle.
2. Turn on your blender full of ingredients and let it spin until it reaches the consistency you want for your soup.
3. Pour the ingredients from the blender into a bowl you can cover and let them chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr. **If you’re making everything all at once, use this time to make the "salad".**
4. About 5 minutes before dinner, take out your scallops and season them with ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper. Heat your EVOO in a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add your scallops and cook them for about 2 minutes per side (or until they no longer appear translucent).
5. Chop the other half of your avocado and take the chilled part of your gazpacho out of the refrigerator. Divide the soup, avocado, and scallops among four bowls.
Onto the “Salad!” Remember, this recipe will make twelve, ½ cup servings (recommended serving size to accompany your gazpacho) or four 1.5 cup servings as its own meal. Use 1/3 of the recipe tonight to serve four people and enjoy a protein-rich lunch for two tomorrow and some extra salad for as a Thursday night side.
Here is your Asparagus Primavera with Couscous, White Beans, & Champagne Vinaigrette recipe:
1. Prep the water for your veggies. Grab a shallow pot, fill it with 1 inch of water, and bring it to a bowl.
2. Make your couscous! In another medium-sized pot (thank goodness our mom had us register for all of these items!), boil 1.5 cups of water. Once your water is bubbling up a storm, add your couscous and remove the pot from the stove. Stir it up a few times and then cover the pot and set it to the side.
3. Now back to that initial bowling pot of water. You’ll use it to cook your veggies. After washing your asparagus, remove the bottom third and cut it in half. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the bottom half. Add the asparagus and carrots (which should be cut into 2-inch sized sticks) to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and allow your veggies to simmer for 5 minutes. Once they’re cooked, drain the pot and set the veggies aside.
4. In a large salad bowl, toss the corn and all remaining ingredients except for the Parmesan. Add your carrots and asparagus and "toss it, baby, one more time" (singing Britney while tossing will make your salad as provocative as the artist).
5. Fluff your couscous with a fork and serve with the vegetables and Parmesan on top.
6. Pat yourself on the back for making a delicious and nutritious meal. Devise a plan for getting a back massage for all your hard work while you enjoy dinner.
Are you planning on making this meal? Know someone who would enjoy it? Share your thoughts below: