Short week, easy dinner

Now that we’re set up in our new apartment, I’ve been able to get back in the kitchen and do a little meal planning/cooking. This week is a short week for us as we’re headed to Iowa for Greg’s cousin’s wedding, but I did find a recipe in the March 2013 issue of Cooking Light that I wanted to try out before we left: Halibut with Bell Pepper Couscous and Lemon Parmesan Asparagus. 

Our local grocery didn’t have halibut, so I bought cod fillets instead. They have a similar taste, and a lower price point (bonus!). The dish was light and delicious – perfect for a late spring dinner. And it was easy to prep and cook (very important to me during the week).

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

3/4 cup fat free, lower sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets (cod fillets are a good substitute)

4 teaspoons torn, fresh oregano

2 lemons, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Preparation

1.) Preheat broiler to high.

2.) Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add couscous; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates. (Honestly, this turned out to be about 3 minutes for me on a gas cook-top.) Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Couscous and bell pepper coming to a boil.
Couscous and bell pepper coming to a boil.

3.) Sprinkle halibut (or cod) evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fillets to pan; cook 3 minutes.

This T-Fal stainless steel induction pan is large and ovenproof.
This T-Fal stainless steel induction pan is large and ovenproof.

Remove pan from heat; turn fillets over. Arrange oregano and lemon slices evenly over fillets. Place pan in oven and broil for 5 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Since I only have one oven, I had to fast-track roasting the asparagus prior to broiling the fish.

Lemon Parmesan Asparagus

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse asparagus and snap off the woody stems, then spread out on a baking sheet. Coat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon juice and Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven).

Baking asparagus at a high heat for a short period of time ensures crunchy veggies.
Baking asparagus at a high heat for a short period of time ensures crunchy veggies.

Serve the fish with the couscous and asparagus for a low-fat, high-protein meal.

Lots of color and a light flavor!
Lots of color and a light flavor!

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