Curried couscous with almonds, raisins, and scarlet runner beans

This dish was inspired by the curried chicken salad from Whole Foods, which I tried to buy one evening last week. My plan for that evening had been to unpack and wash dishes, and at least start organizing the kitchen of my new apartment. But I’d had a difficult work day. I was starving, super tired and overwhelmed by the chaos of moving. And it was beautiful outside. So, even though it isn’t very close, I decided to walk to the store.

The walk was a great idea. At first, still stressed, my mind was spinning. But gradually, I slowed, started enjoying the evening. My nervous system calmed down. When I finally got to the store, I took my time, filling a basket with carefully selected food for the rest of the week, including several bulk items and a small container of the curried chicken salad. Then I went to pay. But, to my great shame, I could not remember the PIN number for my debit card, which had just that day been replaced after a fraud attempt. So I had to leave, walking home empty handed, still starving, and mortified. Could they even put the bulk food back in the bins or would it have to be thrown away? Ugh. I felt like a complete ass.

On the way home, I tried to think about some upside to the experience. But there wasn’t one. I mean, it was kind’ve funny, sure. But there was no lesson. I didn’t learn anything. It just sucked. And man, what was I going to eat for dinner?

curried couscous with almonds, raisins, and scarlet runner beansI wound up eating leftover Cherokee beans from the freezer, which, by the way, were absolutely delicious. Before I got there, though, I dreamed up this dish. Which I just turned into reality. You should too–it’s so good! And easy. This recipe make enough for 2 servings.

1/3 c. Scarlet Runner beans, soaked overnight
1/2 c. Israeli couscous
1/4 c. almonds, sliced and toasted
1/4 c. raisins
1 tsp. curry powder
1 T. olive oil
1-2 T. honey
salt to taste

1. Cook the beans for 1-2 hours, until tender. Add curry powder, olive oil, honey (more or less, to taste–I used about 1-1/2 T), and salt to taste. Let cool.

2. Bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add the couscous, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the beans and raisins to the couscous, stir, and adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or, in summer, chilled. Add the almonds just before you’re ready to serve.

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