Chicken & Black Rice Bowls

chicken & black rice bowls (38) chicken & black rice bowls (36)

These rice bowls were really tasty – black rice has an amazing taste, it’s really similar to a wild rice.  Be sure to marinade the chicken overnight for an extra yummy taste.


serves 4

marinade the chicken at least 4 hours, or overnight

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for the marinade – marinade the chicken at least 4 hours, or overnight

2 1/2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 cups honey
1/2 canned chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of salt and pepper
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black rice
2 cups dry black rice
3 cups water or chicken broth
pinch of salt
cook on the stove or in a rice cooker (this is my preferred method)
for the veggies
1 ripe avocado, sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
cilantro, diced
green onions, sliced
handful of cashews
handful of dried cranberries
handful of crumbled feta cheese – we used Bulgarian feta which is really creamy
1.Cook the rice per the instructions on the package.
2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, pouring the marinade into a pan and heating on medium-low heat and placing the chicken into a medium-high skillet coated with peanut oil.  Cook the chicken until no longer pink.
3. In the meantime slice all of the veggies.
4. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has come to a rapid boil scoop out the rice, sprinkle the veggies, cranberries, cashews, and feta on top and spoon the sauce over the rice and veggies.
5. Serve and eat.
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fancy pizzas

fancy pizzas (5) WM

I love pizza.  I could eat pizza at least once a week.  The thing is, pepperoni and cheese just ain’t my thing.  Call me a snob, but I like amazing, fresh ingredients on my pizzas.  I also like thin crust.  I don’t want dough to be the star of the pizza.

We made two different pizzas this night for dinner, and I have NO idea which was my favorite…they were both so dang good!

Ingredients for pizza #1:

crust of your choice (plus cornmeal to dust the top of the pan)

thinly sliced zucchini

thinly sliced Brussels sprouts

thinly sliced tomatoes

thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

thinly slice prosciutto

crumbled feta cheese

sun dried tomatoes

tomato paste with seasonings

fancy pizzas (1) WM

fancy pizzas (2) WM

Ingredients for pizza #2:

crust of your choice (plus cornmeal to dust the top of the pan)

thinly sliced tomatoes

thinly sliced bell peppers

cooked and drained ground chorizo sausage

thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

tomato paste with seasonings

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If you don’t like these ingredients get creative!

to assemble the fancy pizzas:

1. Begin by rolling or tossing the dough into the size of your pan.  Then place it on the pan that is lightly dusted with cornmeal.

2. Spread a thin layer of seasoned tomato paste over your dough.

3. Layer your toppings.

4. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is a golden brown.

fancy pizzas (4) WM

Whipped Feta & Veggie Crostinis

whipped feta bites (1) WM

Whipped feta is pretty much amazing.  It is just feta cheese and cream cheese.  After you whip it you add it to bread (or toast) and add any veggies (or fruit) that you want.  It’s that simple.


10 oz. feta cheese (plain, not flavored)

8 oz. cream cheese (soft, not the log kind)


1. Dump the feta cheese and cream cheese into a food processor and blend until creamy.  This will take, I don’t know maybe close to 10 minutes – you’ll want all of the lumps to be gone and the whipped feta to be absolutely creamy.

It’s up to you what to do with the whipped feta.  I sliced some whole wheat bread, spread the whipped feta on top, placed some sliced tomatoes & bell peppers on top, put a fresh basil leaf on top and ground some fresh black pepper over the veggies.  You could add some honey while blending the feta and cream cheese and use fruit instead of veggies – the options are endless!

Garden Raviolis

garden raviolis (1) WM

Someday I am going to make raviolis from scratch, but until then I’ll buy them pre-made.  This is a great recipe because it takes pre-made fresh raviolis, doesn’t dump a bunch of sauce on them and instead uses oh so fresh summer veggies.  What more could you ask for.  Really.

prep time: approximately 7 minutes

cooking time: approximately 35 minutes


1 bag pre-made fresh cheese raviolis (the size depends on how many people are eating)

1/2 container cherry tomatoes

2 shallots, cut into wedges

4 garlic gloves, peeled

1/2 zucchini, sliced into bite sized pieces

olive oil



fresh basil

grated cheese (if desired, it was kind of overkill considering the cheese raviolis, I’ll skip next time)


1. Place all vegetables onto an oiled baking sheet in a pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, boil water for the raviolis and cook.

3. After the raviolis are cooked and the veggies are done combine in a pot with the fresh basil leaves and gently stir together.  Add more olive oil if the ravioli are sticking to one another.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

garden raviolis (2) WM

Tomato & Feta Toasts

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I cannot believe how amazing this salad / toast was.  In fact, I want one right now.  I’m pretty much drooling.  This recipe will be a go-to summer salad recipe.  See, there are so many amazing ways to eat your veggies!

prep/total time: approximately 20-25 minutes

 tomato and feta toasts (2) WM


1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

handful basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of kosher salt

feta cheese, crumbled

goat cheese, crumbled

toasted French bread, 2 slices each person

handful pine nuts, toasted

handful of arugula per person


1. Chop, slice, and grate all needed ingredients.

2. Mix the olive oil, pepper and salt together, stir in the chopped, sliced, grated ingredients.  Gently fold in the crumbled cheeses.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Slice and toast the bread.

4. Toast a handful of pine nuts – careful not to burn, you only want them golden brown.

5. Place a handful of washed arugula on each plate.

6. Place the toast on the sides of the plate.  Arrange the cucumber on the bed of arugula, and scoop out the cheese and olive oil mixture on top of the toasts and arugula.  Enjoy!

tomato and feta toasts (3) WM

Corn, Chorizo, and Shrimp Salad

This is a pretty amazing salad.  One that is a total crowd please and is totally easy to prepare (I like that!!).

corn, chorizo, shrimp salad (3) WM

prep time: approximately 15-60  minutes

cooking time: approximately 20 minutes


4 ears of fresh corn or 3 cans of corn, drained

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled

1 package Spanish chorizo sausage

2 bunches green onions, chopped

handful basil leaves, chopped

handful red cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes sliced)

handful yellow cherry tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons Sriracha

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

juice from 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil


1. If you are using fresh ears of corn, peel and boil for 60 minutes, then slice the corn kernels off.  Otherwise open the cans of corn and drain.

2. Add the peeled shrimp into a pan of boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes, until they turn pink.  Drain.

3. Cook the chorizo sausage.  Drain.

4. Slice, chop, mince, grate all needed ingredients.

5.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir well, taste and add any additional seasonings.  Keep chilled and serve chilled.

Fettuccine with pesto, mint, pistachios, and tomatoes

This recipe was awesome!  I had never thought of adding pistachios and mint to a pesto dish before.

pesto pistachio (1) WM

prep time: approximately 10 minutes

cooking time: approximately 10-15 minutes


1 box fettuccine (or fresh fettuccine)

1 pound shrimp, raw

handful of fresh mint leaves

1-2 cups prepared pesto

1/4 cup shelled pistachios (I could only find salt & pepper pistachios which I was hesitant about, but they were amazing!)

cherry tomatoes

salt & pepper to taste

fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese if desired


1. Boil the fettuccine noodles until al dente – approximately 10-12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, slice the cherry tomatoes, wash the mint leaves, shell the pistachios and grate the cheese.  Boil the shelled shrimp – once the water has come to a boil drop the shrimp in the water and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes (until pink).

3. Once the noodles are done, drain and stir in the pesto sauce.  Stir in the tomatoes and cooked shrimp.

4. Dish out the noodles with tomatoes and shrimp and sprinkle the mint leaves, pistachios and cheese on top.  Enjoy with a nice side salad.

pesto pistachio (2) WM

Quinoa, Cucumber, Olive, and Feta salad

quinoa salad WM

I love fresh summer salads, and quinoa is a great base for various types of salads with lots of yummy ingredients – a simple olive oil dressing is all that it needs.


1 cup quinoa (2 cups water)

2 lemons, juiced

3 tablespoons olive oil

red onion

green onion

half cucumber

feta cheese

olive mix from the olive bar at the grocery store

garlic (I used marinated and roasted/marinated garlic from the olive bar at the grocery store)

tomatoes – red and yellow – sliced

salt and pepper to taste

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look at this great olive and garlic mixture!


1. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions; let cool.

2. Juice the lemons.  Slice the red onion, green onion, cucumber, the olive and garlic mix, and tomatoes.

3. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and pour over the cooled quinoa. Add the sliced veggies and olive/garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve cold with BBQ or any other main dish!