couscous w shrimpCouscous is a light, unique side-dish that is incredibly easy to make. Most people who purchase couscous buy instant couscous, which is why it is so easy to prepare. But what is couscous anyway? Many confuse couscous with a grain, but it is pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat. It is mixed with water and then shaped into little ‘grains’. Couscous is frequently used as an alternative to rice.  Couscous is more often than not eaten at room temperature, making it easy to serve on a buffet or take to a picnic. Experiment adding your own favorite ingredients. You really can’t go wrong; it’s that ‘cook-friendly’!

1 ½ C instant couscous

2 C low-sodium vegetable stock

1 T fresh parsley, chopped fine

1 T lime zest

3 T lime juice

1 cup fresh peas, or frozen peas you have thawed under water

¾ C cucumber with peel you have seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon black pepper

couscousOptional ingredients: 1 4-0z. can tiny shrimp, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, and/or 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves.

In saucepan with cover, bring stock to low boil. Turn off heat. Add couscous and stir once. Add all remaining ingredients and stir again quickly, but just enough to mix ingredients. Cover tightly and allow to rest 3 minutes. Fluff with fork and you are ready to serve!

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