A little dancing, a little running, a little Couscous Tabbouleh

It’s National Chicken Dance Day!

Yesterday’s CrossFit workout was Helen. Oof. I’m surprised I can actually chicken dance today. Who’s Helen, you ask? Well, she’s a meanie, that’s for sure. That’s the name of the workout we did. Helen is considered a benchmark workout to see where you are and what you may need to improve. 3 rounds for time of the following:

400m run
21 kettlebell swings @ 35#
12 pull-ups

I did banded pull-ups since I’m not ready to be without it yet. Finished in 11:30. Which isn’t bad but I know I can improve. I really fell apart in the 3rd round. I think I need to prepare better, nutrition-wise, since I’m switching from morning CrossFit to afternoon CrossFit. Gotta make sure I up my protein intake so I have the energy to kick butt throughout the whole workout.

Speaking of kicking butt, today was Track Tuesday!

Mile repeats on this beauty. Yeah, it kicked our butts! Actually, we kept to our prescribed pace of 7:00 miles pretty well. I basically just drafted off Carla – let her do all the work. 🙂 Okay, okay, so it was a big game of “keep up with Carla” for me. I did okay. It’s all good and we survived with only a few tears shed. 🙂


Tabbouleh is an Arab salad made with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber and other yumminess. I love tabbouleh. Like LOVE it. I came across a recipe using couscous a few years ago and decided to give it a try. Oh. Em. Gee. Amaze-balls! So delicious and so easy to make. It’s basically chopping and mixing. The flavors are phenomenal and it’s so good for you! You can serve it as a side dish to grilled meat or pack some for lunch, like I did. Om. Nom. Nom.


Couscous Tabbouleh
Makes 4 servings

3/4 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups chopped fresh parsley
1 1/3 cups chopped tomato
3/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Prepare couscous according to package directions and let cool. Stir in remaining ingredients. Gobble it up.


Per serving:
Calories 314; Fat 14.5g (saturated 1.9g, monounsaturated 10g, polyunsaturated 1.4g); Carbs 40.7g (fiber 3.9g, sugar 9.7g); Protein 6.5g; Sodium 26.3mg; Potassium 527.7mg

– jennifer

A pair of Boston hopefuls and Vegetable and Chickpea stew

After the marathon on Saturday, we kicked the heat up in the hotel and rested and ate and rehydrated and stretched. Shortly after we made it back to the room, I heard a strange sound outside. I peeked out the window and saw … HAIL! It was seriously, not kidding HAILING! I felt so bad for all those people – runners, fans, volunteers – still out on the course! Yuck! Luckily, the hail only lasted about a minute. And then, Mother Nature showed off her sense of humor.


Except we weren’t laughing. Well, okay, we laughed. It was over, we were no longer wet and cold, and tired people tend to be a little slap-happy. 🙂

Sunday was travel day back from Salt Lake City. Boy, were we wiped out! The flights took a lot out of us and we were both just happy to be back in Florida where the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees. Lovely!

Dinner was steak, baby bell peppers and asparagus all expertly grilled by my sailor. We even opened a really awesome bottle of wine to celebrate.


There may or may not be any left. 🙂

So, perhaps it was a decision slightly fueled by wine, but mostly because I’m a sucker who’s always up for a challenge, but I’ve registered for the Tupelo Marathon in September. On my birthday. With Carla. Trying to qualify for Boston 2014. #Bostonhopeful That means training starts next week. *sigh* No rest for the weary. Want to know what else it means? Carla and I have different qualifying times. I have to run even faster to keep up with her. *sigh* Me and my bull-headedness. So, there it is – a goal in writing. For all the world to see. Now I’m really locked in. 🙂

OH! Carla got the blogging bug so go check her out at Will Run 4 Ice Cream. Do it.

FOOD! (something ALL marathoners think about) 🙂

It’s meatless Monday! Do you do meatless Monday? It’s fun because vegetables are delicious and it’s alliteration. Nerd alert! 🙂 Alliteration is fun! And so was this meal. Well, I thought it was. It was met with raised eyebrows and complaints about the lack of meat. Oh well. They survived. 😉 Really, it was delicious!! Om nom nom!


Vegetables and Chickpeas over Couscous
Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups reduced-sodium, defatted chicken broth (use vegetable broth if preferred)
1/2 cup golden raisins
6 cups hot cooked couscous

1. Measure out the salt, curry powder, cumin, coriander, and ginger into a small bowl.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Saute the onions until they begin to change color. Stir in the spices and garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer.

3. Add the remaining ingredients except the raisins and couscous. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become tender. Stir in the raisins and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve over the couscous.

Per serving:
Calories 383; Protein 15g; Fat 4g (saturated 1g); Carbohydrates 74g; Fiber 8g; Sodium 766mg


Recipe from 1,000 Lowfat Recipes

– jennifer

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine

Day 3 of vegetarian week! Okay, more accurately it’s day 3 of 3 days of vegetarian recipes but that doesn’t sound as interesting, now does it? Anyway, day 3. How the heck am I going to follow up those quesadillas?! Well, by taking a tour of the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, of course! 🙂

The tagine is a traditional North African dish named after the pot it was cooked in. Add the Mediterranean flavors of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and fabulous grilled vegetables and you’ve got dinner! Serve it over couscous and enjoy!

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine
Recipe from Cooking Light

1 small red onion
2 red bell peppers, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 sliced pitted green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 small red potatoes, quartered
Cooking spray
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Cut red onion into 4 wedges, leaving root end intact. Place red onion, bell peppers, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag; toss well to coat.


2. Prepare grill.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes.


Add cumin, fennel, and cinnamon; saute 1 minute.  Add 1/4 teaspoon, 1/4 cup water, olives, raisins, black pepper, tomatoes, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.


4. Remove bell peppers and red onion from bag; discarding marinade; place on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  (Or, a cast iron grill pan works in a pinch!) Grill 10 minutes, turning frequently.


5. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve tomato mixture over couscous.  Top with grilled peppers and onions; sprinkle with pine nuts.


Yields 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups tomato mixture, 1/2 cup couscous, 1/2 cup grilled vegetables, and 1 tablespoon pine nuts)
Calories 462 (14% from fat); Fat 7.1g (sat 1g, mono 3.2g, poly 2.2g); Protein 15.8g; Carb 95.5g; Fiber 13.9g; Chol 0mg; Iron 4.7mg; Sodium 574mg; Calcium 123mg