I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fitness Friday: Lousy Hostess Edition

Let me just start off by saying that I am terribly sorry for lousing up my first hosting gig so badly. When Brenda asked me to host, I was excited, and couldn't wait to get to Friday so I could post my ideas.

However, between the day she asked and today, I haven't been on the internet once. So I didn't know you all were waiting with baited breath for ME to let you know what the topic was. I thought she would give out the assignment, and you would all meet me here on Friday.

My. Bad.

So, if you feel ready, the assignment today is how to beat the heat in your kitchen this summer. You can share tips on how to stay cool, but if you've got some, I'd rather hear your cooking ideas: how to save energy right along with keeping the house cooler; all the while staying on track health-wise. I'll get the ball rolling, and hopefully a few of you can think on your feet and join me.

Summer in Africa is, undoubtedly, HOT. And while we are in the middle of winter here, and I wouldn't even think of eating these things any time soon, they are some of our summer faves.

But first, let me start with one of my favorite tips to beat the heat. Just because it's summer doesn't mean you want to eat salads and cold sandwiches every day. Sure, fruit should become a much bigger part of your diet, but who wants cold watermelon every meal? (Ok, it sound good in summer, I agree.)

So, my first beat the heat suggestion is to buy a crock pot and learn how to use it. I use mine at least twice a week all year 'round. It's a fantastic device that cooks your food at a low temperature for several hours, while you can do other things. I use it mainly on Wednesdays since our church starts at four and we get home at dinner time, but it's also nice to use on days when I am busy and don't want to think about what to cook later. It emits very little heat, and can sit in a corner of your counter so you won't even know it's there. Except for the really yummy smells that will fill your house. I love it.

Now, onto the recipes. I can't believe I haven't shared with you before my Cous Cous Garden Salad recipe. If you've never had cous cous, you're doing yourself a dis-service. It's great stuff! It has a plain taste, and will absorb any flavor you put into it. We eat it all kinds of ways, but cous cous garden salad is one of our favorites.

Cous Cous Garden Salad
4C cooked cous cous (cooked with one chicken stock cube)
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped tomatoes
1/2C garbanzo beans
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Feta Cheese (to taste)
Greek Dressing (to taste)
Two chicken breasts (cubed)- optional

1. Cook your cous cous according to package directions. (Except add one chicken stock cube.) When it's cooked and fluffed, transfer it to a large bowl.
2. Add your chopped veggies and dressing. Mix well. (If using chicken, mix it in as well.)
3. Serve warm or cold.

This is a really refreshing salad, and it's filling. The cous cous soaks in the flavor from the Greek dressing, and tastes so good with the veggies. It's great either hot or cold, but in the summer it's best cold. You can add chicken or not, up to you. If you want a nice vegetarian option, then leave it out. YUM!

And even though this is Fitness Friday, I believe everything in moderation. Including dessert. Now, if you can't handle the moderation thing, then you don't even want to think about following the link to JulieMom's Awesome Fruit Thingy. You'll have to scroll past the stuffed pepper and tomatoes recipe, but it's there, I promise you!

So, what are some ways you beat the heat in the kitchen, still keep your family healthy, and don't break the bank with ordering out? I'd love to hear your ideas! And if I am ever entrusted with hosting again, I promise I'll be on the internet before the day of!

For more entertaining encouragement from past posts, visit Brenda!

Just for your info, the Foodie Friday Archive has been updated to add even more delicious options for yummy things to serve your family. Check it out!


  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Can't wait to try your couscous sald and right after this comment, am on my way to check out the fruit thingy.

    I love couscous, and in fact, did a whole post about it--with one of my favorite recipes--here - http://greatgrannygrandma.blogspot.com/2009/02/fitness-friday-something-new.html (it was one of my Fitness Friday posts a while back, and will have to do for today as well.) :-)

  • Brenda

    I have never had couscous.

    I am so not cool!

    (and a bad communicator!!!)

    Heading off to post right now!
    Thanks for hosting--we'll all get caught up, don't worry! We're pretty knowledgeable around food in this group! :)

  • Giovanna

    I love couscous, have you ever had Israeli couscous? I love that one too! And your not a lousy hostess, just a busy person.

    B- you really need to stretch you palette - you've never had couscous? You should come over for dinner sometime, we will really stretch your palette for you : ) HA !

    Great post Julie - have a great day!

  • Omah's Helping Hands

    Your not a lousy hostess. You've done a great job. So the wires got crossed a little, ;) but at least you got 'er done!!!

    I have to admit, I've never tried cous cous. But will definitely have to try it now. I know it's suppose to be real healthy for you. Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it.

    I'll have to go check out great grany's page too.

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