I have a predisposition towards over-purchasing food. Its an inherited habit passed to me by my mother, the same way she passes me gigantic, overflowing containers of leftovers everytime I visit her.
The upside of this habit is the fact that you’ll never go hungry at my house. No one will ever have to split a chicken breast in half or go without a baked potato if an unexpected guest shows up for supper. This works out okay, since I usually take leftovers to work for lunch. Yes…I’m the one reheating an entire turkey dinner, complete with dressing and cranberries, in the office microwave on Monday. Occasionally, I’ll even bring an extra chicken pot pie to a culinarily-challenged co-worker.
That said, there is also a downside….like my compulsive need to purchase a jumbo-sized container of couscous, when I only have 1 tried and true couscous recipe and only a medium-sized fiance to feed. So, I’ve been on the hunt for another yummy (and healthy) couscous recipe. I specifically wanted something light and healthy…and struck gold with this one.
Based on a versionI found on Realsimple.com, this recipe combines the couscous with arugula, garlic and shrimp. I seasoned my shrimp based on spices my sister uses to make what she calls South Carolina shrimp — spicy and flavorful. I’ve also added cayenne pepper for kick and toasted pine nuts for some crunch. The dish comes together in about 30 minutes…perfect after a long workday….and JiT gobbles it right up. Plus, its got green vegetables and whole grains. Yum!
South Carolina Spiced Shrimp with Arugula Couscous
Serves 2 – 4
1 1/2 cups instant, whole grain couscous
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (usually found by the seafood counter)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 bag of pre-washed arugula (or baby spinach)
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of pine nuts, lightly toasted (throw them in a pan over med heat until browned)
1 lemon, quartered
In a medium bowl, combine shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 of the cloves of crushed garlic, Old Bay, and a dash of salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss to coat evenly and set aside.
Prepare the couscous according to the package directions and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the second clove of garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the arugula and cook until just wilted, about 1 more minute. Combine the arugula, pine nuts and couscous in a large bowl, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste and toss gently.
In the same skillet, cook the seasoned shrimp over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, until pink and firm. Serve over the couscous with a squeeze of lemon.