Friday, March 23, 2012

Mediterranean Couscous salad + silencing my fears

I've mentioned it before. My fears more or less try to run my life, and a lot of the time, I let them. And I know that's not right, and that I should focus on the positive aspects of any situation, but I've only recently come to the realization that I do let my fears rule most of my life, so it's going to be a process to retrain my brain to think differently.

On Tuesday, I went in for a massage with my wonderful friend Christie, who is a little bit like magic. She can work muscular miracles. She actually taught me how to relax and let my massages work for me. But she's more than just a massage therapist because when I go in there, I don't know what it is, but my brain starts going to these crazy places. It's like I find these pockets of clarity. I've come to more realizations about my life on that table than anywhere else I can think of.

And this week's realization was that my commute time is killing me. It's where I do my most dangerous thinking. It's where I make plans, where I contemplate my future, where I do my best worrying and over-thinking.  What else have I got to do for 45 minutes each way? Sure, I listen to the radio like most Americans, but it isn't enough to really take me out of my head.

So I decided I need to find a way to distract myself while I'm driving (of course not too much because I still have to drive!). I've always used reading as a way to escape my own life. What better way to forget your own problems that to become engrossed in someone else's? So I bought a couple of books on cd and I've been listening to them in the car the past few days.

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And let me tell you, I feel much better! I don't get caught up in my head AND I feel less stressed about driving. I drive slower (not that I'm a lead foot or anything, but I noticed I hover a lot closer to 65 than 75 lately), and jerk drivers just don't seem to annoy me quite as much. I don't care as much about them because more interesting things are going on in my car!

On a completely different but equally exciting note, I promised you a recipe, so here it is!

I adapted this recipe from one in my new cookbook, Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for great vegan recipes. I haven't tried a recipe I didn't like yet.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

2 cups dry couscous

2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

3-4 small zucchini, cut in half-circles

a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

10ish kalamata olives, halved

1 cup frozen or fresh corn

1 leek, sliced thin

a handful of spinach, roughly chopped

tarragon (I hate to add measurements for spices. Everyone likes their own amount. Use as much or as little as you'd like)


garlic powder

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add couscous. Turn off heat and let sit for five minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, saute zucchini, leeks, corn and spinach with olive oil and spices. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Mix and let veggies absorb liquid a little. Add tomatoes and olives and let cook until these last ingredients are just warm. Maybe a minute. Toss couscous with veggie mix. Let sit for a few minutes so the flavors can be absorbed in the couscous. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve and enjoy!

Christy says this salad tastes amazing cold as well as hot. I was having it for dinner, so hot seemed right, but I'm curious to try it cold. Maybe for lunch today!

This is a seriously delicious, amazingly easy dish. I think it will be a go-to for summer dinners.

Well, I'm off to lunch with my mommy (yes, leftover couscous salad) and then a fun-filled weekend with my husband and "little sissy," Ashley, who is hanging with us! I can't wait!



  1. Your salad looks great, but I think that you trying to fight your fears is even better! Writing what torments my over-thinking brain has helped. I used to write what made me turn my head upside down, and then not allowing me to think about it because it was written on the book!

  2. Writing helps me a lot too. I have a journal I keep with me at all times in case something comes to my head I need to remember to think about later. My biggest problem with that was that I usually thought of it in the car! Where I couldn't write anything down! That's why I need to keep those thoughts out of the car! :)