Monday, January 28, 2013

Kale, Butter Bean, and Shrimp Couscous Bowl

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The other day I went out for a walk, which is quite a production these days. Giant stroller, warm clothes for mamma and baby, diaper bag filled with essentials, keys, phone. I got all the way outside and realized I had forgotten my phone. I stood still for a second, considering my options, and decided that it might be good for me to be without my phone for a few minutes. For the first half of the walk, I had company, so it was no problem. As soon as my friend and I parted ways, though, I started feeling like I needed my phone. At least 4 times, I caught myself reaching for it. It turned into a great exercise, because without the constant ability to check on things and communicate with people, my mind was able to have a little break. I was truly amazed at how refreshed I felt and how sparkling clear my thoughts became.

I think I may make a habit of forgetting my phone more often.

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Kale, Butter Bean, and Shrimp Couscous Bowl

adapted from Food and Wine, February 2013

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to come together, and it is exceedingly delicious. Leftovers are great for lunch, especially if you only cook the shrimp as needed.

2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
one 15-ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons capers
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale, ribs removed, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the couscous with 3/4 cup boiling water, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, a sprinkle of salt, and the crushed red pepper and sauté until opaque, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the beans, capers, and lemon juice and cook until the beans are hot, about 2 minutes. Add the beans to the couscous and toss, tasting and adjusting seasonings. In the same pan (again!), add the kale and another sprinkle of salt, and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly, until it is bright green but still holds most of its shape. Divide the kale and bean/couscous mixture between 4 bowls, and top with the shrimp.

Serves 4.

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