Happy New Year and New Decade! 2010 was a good year and I am looking forward to an even better 2011. We had a nice long break. It wasn’t exactly quiet but it was great to spend time with the family and catch up with friends. Of course the food was wonderful and I think I gained several pounds in just a few days. :( Now it is time to get back in shape so that I can wear those skinny pants again.

Talking about wonderful food, my dear friend Ann whom I had the privilege to meet during my vacation to Singapore last summer, made a fantastic Checkerboard Chocolate Cake for the New Year. If you have not visited Anncoo Journal, you are missing out. Ann is a talented baker and her baking creations make me drool. Do check out her blog. She has a wealth of recipes there.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Elisabeth of Food and Thrift Finds for passing this award to me sometime back. Elisabeth grew up in a family of European chefs, learning from the best of best. She shares a ton of delectable recipes and her life on the beach in Florida with us on her blog. Thank you Elisabeth for your friendship and this award.

Now, let’s start cooking! I want to start the New Year with a lean but tasty dish. I was delighted to find this gluten-free brown rice couscous at my local health food store. Couscous is delicious but most are made of semolina and wheat flour and is not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. With this brown rice couscous, I can now cook it as often as I like, knowing that every member of the family can enjoy it. Rice couscous takes a longer time to cook but the the texture is very similar to that of the regular couscous with a slightly nutty flavor. It paired really well with this tangy tomato base sauce. Please use regular semolina couscous if you prefer but do cook the couscous per the packaging instructions.

Shrimp and Chickpeas Brown Rice Couscous

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp and Chickpeas Brown Rice Couscous


  • 1 package (10 oz/280g) roasted brown rice couscous
  • 3 cups (720ml) water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 cups (240g) cauliflower florets
  • 1 can (16 oz/450g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5oz/410g) stewed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 oz (225g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Lime wedges (optional)


In a medium sized pot, bring 3 cups (720ml) of water to boil. Stir in salt and couscous. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 13 to 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

While couscous is cooking, heat olive oil in another pan. Sauté onion and garlic for 1 minute. Stir in spices. Add cauliflower, chickpeas, stewed tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil and season with salt. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes or until shrimps curl and turn pink.

Turn off heat. Stir in chopped parsley.

Serve immediately with roasted brown rice couscous and lime wedges.



I am excited to show you the other cool Christmas gift I received from Ro-Ri San. This Wusthof Classic 7-inch Santoku knife was autographed, numbered, and signed by Harald Wusthof, seventh-generation owner of the Wusthof Trident Company of Solingen, Germany. There are only 75 of these Wusthof’s bestselling knives, autographed exclusively for Eversharp located here in Minneapolis.

Be sure to check out my 1st Blog Anniversary post for a chance to win an autographed copy of a cookbook I’ve chosen as a giveaway. The giveaway is open till 9:00pm Central time, Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)