Lima Bean & Tomato Stew

Last night it got to be dinnertime and I still was in no presentable condition. I didn’t want to start putting on makeup at that point just to drag myself out to the grocery store (since I have a thing about being seen in public without makeup – some people think this is excessive, but if you’d had as many people ask about how you got those two black eyes as I have, you’d have a thing about it too.) So off to the kitchen I go, to nose around and see what can be made out of what’s there. Someone (maybe Peter) once said that my definition of nothing in the house was everyone else’s definition of having just gone to the store. I didn’t have nothing in the house, but I had no onions and not much fresh produce, since we had done a very good job of cleaning out the fridge before we left for the holidays. We still had some frozen stuff, though, and canned tomatoes (always a lifesaver) and whole-wheat couscous in the pantry – so here is my improvised dinner. Michael came in and said something about McGyver while I was cooking.

2 T. olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced (hey, without onions, you have to compensate.)
2 long hot peppers, seeds & membranes removed, minced (I had some that a co-worker gave me – long skinny red ones – no idea what kind they were)
1 10 oz. package frozen lima beans
2 c. frozen spinach (yes, still frozen)
1 28 oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes (crushed – or whole ones, run through the processor briefly)

1 2/3 c. whole-wheat couscous
2 c. water
dollop of olive oil
fresh pepper & salt to taste

Sauté the garlic and peppers in the olive oil until fragrant. Dump in the tomatoes. Dump in the lima beans. Run the frozen spinach through the food processor until breadcrumb-like in texture. I know, this is a mean thing to do to your food processor, but that’s what it’s there for, right? To take abuse? Dump in the spinach. Add a little water & a little salt & pepper (remember, there’s already plenty of salt in those tomatoes) and simmer for a good 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes or so, heat the 2 c. water in a medium saucepan until boiling. Add the couscous, olive oil, some fresh pepper & salt. Remove from the heat immediately, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve lima beans over couscous and congratulate yourself on escaping certain death using only a paper clip and your wits.

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