Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Couscous with Artichoke Hearts, Shrimp, Scallops, Etc.

So it's either raining like the dickens, or it sweltering hot here in the northeast. Yesterday was the latter. It was air conditioner cranked on high, cold shower taking, iced tea sipping, kind of weather. The kind of weather to me that screams seafood. I love seafood all year round, but there's something about seafood on a hot summer (almost) night that just feels right.

For this dish I decided to again incorporate an Antioxidant Rich Food in the recipe. Antioxidants protect the body from harmful, excess free radicals. Free radicals are the reason why people develop chronic disease, especially older people. Free radicals are highly unstable chemical substances that lack one electron. In their attempt to get their full complement of electrons, these free radicals react with other molecules around them (like those found in cell membranes) and in the process cause these otherwise healthy molecules to lose an electron, causing them as well to become unstable. This could result in massive degeneration of cells, leading to the development of chronic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancer to name a few. Through consumption of antioxidant food source, you can help your body provide for itself the tools necessary to neutralize harmful free radicals.

Why the artichoke? USDA has ranked cooked artichokes number 10 from their list of top 20 antioxidant-rich foods. The study showed that one cup (hearts) of artichoke contains up to 7904 antioxidant capacity per serving size.

I marinated the shrimp and scallops in a mixture of olive oil, fresh lime zest, lime juice, orange juice (fresh), parsley, salt and pepper. I marinated them for about 20 minutes, then sautéed them in the marinade on the stove top.

For the couscous, I cooked to the directions on the box, but added a jar of chopped artichoke hearts, 1/2 diced red pepper and 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley.

When the couscous was done, I served it topped with the shrimp and scallop sauté. YUM!

This post is part of ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday over at Sweetnicks helping to promote the use of Antioxidant Rich Foods in daily cooking

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