Beating the Heat

Smart Food

This weekend, I was able to make my first dinner using things from our garden. And man, was the Garlic Vegetable Couscous delicious! I picked some zucchini (yes, I realize I look like a dork in that picture 😉 ), spinach, sage and basil for this dish. Our cucumbers weren’t quite ready yet, so I used some from the Farmer’s Market instead.

Zucchini PickingSpinach PickingPicking Sage Sage

You don’t have to use Garlic Gold for this recipe, but I really like the flavor the oil brings out. Plus, the nuggets add a fantastic finishing CRUNCH!

Garlic Vegetable Couscous

Inspired by a recipe from Hudson Valley Mediterranean

1 1/2 c. Israeli couscous

4 T. Garlic Gold Oil OR 4 T. olive oil and 4 cloves garlic, minced

2 zucchini, sliced

2 1/2 T. fresh basil, minced

1 T. fresh sage, minced

2 c. spinach

2 cucumbers, sliced

1 T. lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garlic Gold Nuggets (optional)


In a large shallow pan, cook the couscous with 3 c. water over medium heat. When most of the water is absorbed, pour the couscous into a large bowl and stir in 1 T. of the oil.

In the same pan, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat. If you aren’t using Garlic Gold, add the garlic cloves now and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the zucchini, basil and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-9 minutes.

Add zucchini mixture to couscous. Stir in the spinach, cucumber, lemon juice, and remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with Garlic Gold Nuggets.


Smart Fitness

As I mentioned yesterday, I got some new cycling gear that has been making a world of difference in my training!

Since I’m so short, my bike frame is too small for me to easily get a water bottle out to drink from during a ride. As a solution, I got a Camelbak last week!


I got the Aurora 1.5 L (50 oz) pack, and it is so nice to be able to take a drink while in motion! Three cheers for hydration!

Smart Life

We are experiencing a serious HEAT WAVE here this week, and I’ve discovered some tips for BEATING THE HEAT when you don’t have AC.

  • Keep the blinds closed during the day to keep the hot sun out.
  • Open the windows in the evenings, and only keep them a crack open during the day. You’ll get some fresh air in, but keep much of the hot air out!
  • In the evening, put fans in front of the windows to blow more cool air in. Move them away from the windows during the day to keep the air moving.
  • Take a COLD shower.
  • Wear light-colored and light clothing.
  • Put a lipped cookie sheet full of ice in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan will blow cool air across the room! <– This is GENIUS, and I wish I thought of it before last night!

What are your tips for beating the heat?


  1. says

    How cute is your garden?! I like it! I must try the garden vegetable couscous – looks great!
    I beat the heat (or try to) by staying hydrated and snacking on fruit. I may or may not also indulge in some soy ice cream at night! :)

  2. says

    Wow! That meal looks so green and fresh! We have central a/c, so that helps. I also don’t really run much in the summer. Overall though as a person who is almost alwats cold, I am loving the heat and even had a sauna the other day at the gym!

  3. says

    We are so lucky to have ceiling fans so using them definitely helps. Also, our house sits on a hill and we have an amazing little basement that is positioned away from the sunlight. When the heat keeps too unbearable we hibernate in the basement, laying on the extra bed and watching tv/movies on the desktop computer.

  4. says

    Yum! It looks like a lot of my meals lately of fresh veggies over lettuce or with brown rice. So many great vegetables to eat these days and not enough time to eat them… plus it helps with hydration. It’s been brutal!

    PS: That cookbook is by the same woman who owns Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck, NY. It was my favorite restaurant in NY while I was in culinary school and used to go there most Sundays with a book just to relax and eat deliciously :)

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Heather from Then Heather Said gave me that book as a bridal shower gift since it was about NY fresh foods. The restaurant sounds awesome, and I really want to go there sometime!

      • says

        It really is and that area in gorgeous too, especially in the fall for apple picking. If you go up there, let me know because I can definitely give you my recommendations.

        Plus, a stop at the Culinary Institute doesn’t hurt either. There are 5 restaurants there and the campus is gorgeous. You’ll see why I loved it so…

  5. says

    Wow, your garden is really growing!

    I love the tips to beat the heat. Some others- use a sun shade in your car. This REALLY helps. I drink ice water when I’m blow drying my hair. It sounds silly, but my hair takes SO LONG to blow dry and I get really hot. Instead of just turning the A/C down, I chomp on ice, and it helps cool me down from the inside! I also love popcicles… they are a great low cal treat that helps cool you down.

    It’s funny how one of your tips is too open your windows during the evening or at night. I forget that it actually cools down at night time up north. here in South Florida, it only gets down to about 85 at night, so we can’t do that! It’s also much too humid.

    I love summer nights up north where you throw on a sweatshirt with your shorts as the sun sets. :) Love it!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      YES on the ice water idea… frozen grapes are awesome, too!

      I didn’t even think of the fact that in places like Florida, opening the windows at night doesn’t help. 😉

  6. says

    I’m so impressed by how fast your garden has grown, this meal looks great too!

    I can’t believe you don’t have a.c. girl?!?!? It’s been over 100 degrees here in VA for like the past 2 weeks and I don’t think I could’ve lived w/out it!!!!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      This heat is really, really unusual for the area, so we don’t usually need AC… would really appreciate it this week, though!

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