Rainbow Chopped Salad

Rainbow Chopped Salad




School is out and we are officially in summer. Actually it’s been out for a couple of weeks already, but it’s only just now sunk into my mind. This is the time of year to shed the extra pounds that were put on over winter. There’s no need to diet, really. By eating more fresh vegetable salads, fresh fruit and less bread, and getting out to walk, bike, or swim more often, the extra pounds fall off. The summer heat helps, too, because the body enjoys fresh foods and drinks even more.

Today in Tempe, Arizona, it’s 109°, about 48° C. Living in the desert I’ve learned to plan the day. Wake up early, ideally about 6:30 – 7:30, but in practice more like 7-8, and take a walk early because later on it will be far too hot. I also do my shopping early in the morning, or late evening around 8:00 p.m.—after the sun has gone down and it’s cooler outside.

Living in a hell hole desert you appreciate light cold soups like tomato gazpacho, vichyssoise, and avocado gazpacho; and salads with a mix of veggies and protein, like: Lipsmacking Orange Salad, Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon, and Roasted Bell Pepper with Tuna and Orzo. Who in their right mind would want to turn on the oven? It’s time to enjoy fresh cold foods straight out of the fridge.

Andalucia, an area in southern Spain, is a region of the country where the weather can be similar to Arizona. The Andalucians have been fighting the heat for centuries and they serve up a number of cold dishes, like: salmorejo (like gazpacho but thicker), ajo blanco (garlic almond soup), ensaladilla rusa (Russian Salad), tortilla de patata (potato omelet), and boquerones en escabeche (brined anchovies).

Is it hot where you live? Maybe you should link to one of the refreshing foods above, or try my rainbow chopped salad below. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and delicious!


Rainbow Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 12 cups

Serving Size: 8 servings about 1-1/2 cups each

Rainbow Chopped Salad


    For the Salad!
  • 4 cups lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1-1/2 cups black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups corn
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato, chopped
  • 2 avocados, peeled seeded and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • For the Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon siracha


  1. Place the lettuce on a large serving platter.
  2. Put the chopped salad vegetables on top of the bed of salad in vertical lines.
  3. Top with the sliced red onions.
  4. Pour the salad dressing over the entire area of the salad.

 Weight Watcher Points Plus: 5 points per serving

Nutrition Facts Rainbow Chopped Salad

Rainbow Chopped Salad

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulTuesday’s Table, and The Yuck Stops Here.



Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad


Ina Friday falls on the first Friday of the month when a group of bloggers come together to blog about one of Ina Garten recipes and make the food from the original recipe. Another option we have is to create a new recipe, or modify one of her recipes after being inspired by it. I’m taking the second road and developing a similar recipe, but with a couple of twists.


It’s good to be back this week for Ina Friday because I’m excited about the salad I’m sharing with you today. From the title you already know it’s arugula, shrimp and watermelon salad, but what you don’t learn from the title is how good this salad tastes. It’s the definition of yum. What makes this salad interesting is the blending of peppery, sweet, salty, creamy and piquant.

I first saw this healthy vegetarian recipe on Ina’s website. Adding the shrimp was an idea I got from a restaurant in New York that served a watermelon salad with octopus. Unfortunately the name of the restaurant is gone from my mind, but the memory of the salad is still wafting around in my head. I recall the dish would have been better without some of the ingredients but what stood out was the octopus with the watermelon. The sweet and salty seawater flavor fused really well with the fruit and whatever green it was. I know more people, especially kids, would have reservations about eating octopus, and it’s not so easy to find either, so I decided to use shrimp instead. Cooking the shrimp in olive oil with garlic added another complimentary layer of flavor, too. Who would thought garlic together with watermelon, but it works!

And by the way, if you have never been to New York City, you must go, and take a suitcase full of money with you. The city is not cheap. There are fun things you can do for no money like riding the free ferry to Staten Island and back, walking in Central Park, walking on the Highline, or visiting and walking around Times Square. You probably get the picture by now—take some good walking shoes. You’ll need money for the attractions, great restaurants, sight seeing activities, boat rides, and theater. We saw the Book of Mormons. What an introduction to the theater for my 16 year-old son. Hilarious!


Disclaimer: the link below is an affiliate link and I may earn a commission if you click on it and make a purchase. I use affiliate links to offset the cost of running the blog.

Related Amazon Products: Farberware Millennium Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad


    For the Salad:
  • ½ pount medium shrimp, raw
  • 2 ounces baby arugula leaves, rinsed under cold water
  • ½ pound seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch cube (without the rind)
  • 3 to 4 thin slices red onion, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (1 figured in 1/8 teaspoon salt)
  • For the Shrimp:
  • ½ pound shrimp, medium size, washed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a small skillet. When the garlic starts to turn white, stir and count 10 seconds and then add the shrimp. Stir it around well.
  2. When the shrimp are white on the bottom side flip them over, cover with a lid and remove the pan from the heat. Allow them to finish cooking with the steam for 3 minutes.
  3. Place the arugula, watermelon, red onion and ¼ cup feta cheese in large bowl. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the salad, followed by the 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly toss the salad.
  4. Add ½ the shrimp and the juice from the pan to the salad and toss lightly.
  5. Place the remaining shrimp on top of the salad and decorate with some of the red onion. Top with one tablespoon feta cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

**Cooking time for the shimp is about 2-1/2 minutes and there are 3 minutes unattended time while the shimp steam finishes in the pan.


Weight Watchers Points Plus: 9 per serving and there are 2 servings.

Arugula Salad Nutrition Facts

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad 2

Please visit the other member participating in Ina Friday to see what delicious food they’ve cooked up:

Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad – #SundaySupper

 Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad

Do you have Sunday meals with your family? Sunday dinner was an important meal at my parent’s house when I was growing up, and It is a very important meal at my Spanish in-laws house. Both sets of parents, mine and my husband’s, knew their kids had work, social obligations, sports activities, school committees, outside interests and a myriad of other things that come up during the week that can keep them from having regular week night dinners with the family, but Sunday supper was different.

Generally, Sunday is the day before people go back to their weekly activities of school and work and, let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot going on. So there weren’t any good reasons why you couldn’t be at home with the family for a homemade family meal. And in our families there were chores, too. Someone was appointed to set the table, another to clear it, and another the do the dishes. This schedule rotated so you wouldn’t be stuck doing the unwanted task of washing the dishes. We didn’t care for the chores too much, but having dinner with the whole family left me with a lot of good memories.

Isabel Laessig, from Family Foodie, believes that the Sunday supper is a time and place to nurture the family members and she’s so passionate about it that she started a movement called the Sunday Supper Movement. She’s got other bloggers on the bandwagon with her and now the movement reaches 1.5 million followers with the recipes posted from the participating bloggers. You’ll find the recipes tweeted, and posted on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This week the tasks for the bloggers was to come up with a recipe that used no more than 5 ingredients. I wanted to share this tomato, avocado and cucumber summer salad with you because it can be made in less than 15 minutes and it’s so delicious. I had a variation of it for the first time at Zeytin’s Deli, next to Bryant Park in NYC. It’s perfect for a hot summer day!

Do you think Sunday suppers are important? Leave a comment and tell me why. Don’t forget to take a look at the other 5-ingredient recipes listed below.

Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 3 cups

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Summer Salad  #SundaySupper


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-1/2 tomato
  • 1-1/2 avocado
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Wash all the vegetables.
  2. Peel the cucumber and cut into ¾-inch cubes.
  3. Chop the tomatoes ¾-inch cubes.
  4. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and cut the meat into ¾-inch cubes.
  5. Pour the olive oil and lime juice over the vegetables, lightly salt and toss until all the vegetables are coated with the dressing.

Points Plus Value 7: Points Plus value per serving 2; there are 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts Summer Salad

Don’t forget to take a look at the other 5-ingredient recipes listed below.

Appetizers, Salads and Starters

Side and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Dessert and Beverages

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chickpea Salad: Tapa or Starter?




GetAttachmentThe other day I went back to Boche, the new neighborhood tapa bar here in León, Spain. The waiter took our order and recited from the semi-long list of various tapas we could choose from: Tortilla Española guisada, caldo gallego, ensalada de garbanzos, ensaladilla… and I forget what else. Knowing how healthy it was for me, I went with the chickpea salad (ensalada de garbanzos).

The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF) wrote that in a recent study, participants reported eating less food and “eating fewer processed food snacks during test weeks in the study when garbanzo beans were consumed.” Another study showed that daily consumption of these beans “improved participants’ control of blood sugar and insulin secretion.” Garbanzos are loaded with fiber and protein. That alone is good enough reason to make them a part of your healthy eating habits, especially if you are trying to eat less meat.

Chickpea salad, tapa or starter? It doesn’t matter… just eat them.

Hasta pronto!

The following is a basic recipe for vegan chickpea salad. Add anything to it that your taste buds demand.  Perhaps vegetables, cooked eggs, octopus, or tuna. Let your taste buds inspire you.


Servings: 8        Preparation Time: 1-1/4 hours      Unattended Time: 4 hours

1 pound dried chickpeas

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper

¼ cup minced parsley

½ cup olive oil

2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

salt to taste

lettuce, washed, (to serve under the salad

Optional: tuna, octopus, or salt cod


1. Cook the chickpeas in salted water until they are tender; about 1-1/4 hours.

2. Drain and cool the beans and the add the remaining ingredients. Test for seasonings, adding salt to taste.

3. Store in the refrigerator about 4 hours to cool.

4. To serve, place a bed of lettuce on each plate and top with the chickpeas. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Oranges: A Terrific Power Food that Makes a Lip Smacking Orange Salad

Lip Smacking Orange Salad


Citrus fruits are the topic of today’s power foods blog group, and I’ve chosen to tribute the orange. There’s good reason to drink to the orange, or drink up the orange juice. One orange has 116.2% daily nutritional value for vitamin C; it’s also a good source of fiber at 12.6% DV.

Vitamin C intake helps to lower risk for inflammation by helping to prevent the free radicals from triggering the inflammation response, which is responsible for conditions like heart disease, osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps to prevent cancer. One 2003 Australian study by the Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research group showed that citrus offers 40-50% reductions in mouth, larynx, and stomach cancers. Other benefits are lower risk of lung and colon cancer. It’s important to eat or drink the citrus for full benefit of the nutrients, as the fruit seems to offer more protection against free radicals than vitamins.

Today’s healthy lip smacking orange salad is a return to one that I posted last year and I think is worth revisiting. It’s one of my favorite salads for its visual appeal and for its flavor. It also includes almonds, another delicious power food.


Servings: 4             Prep Time: 15 minutes              Total time: 15 minutes


Mixed salad greens – enough for four people

1 orange

3 tablespoons slivered onion

1 small tooth garlic, minced

1-½ tablespoons olive oil

1-½ teaspoons sherry vinegar, or balsamic vinegar as next best option

2 teaspoons orange juice

1/3 cup Marcona almonds (available at Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Amazon)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch black pepper

¼ to 1/3 cup small squares of Manchego cheese to decorate the top of the salad


1. Use a paring knife to cut the peel off the orange, cutting deep enough to show the orange segments underneath the skin. Cut close to the membrane walls on both sides of each orange segment to remove the segments. Place the orange segments in a bowl and set it aside. (Click on this link to see how to cut orange segments.)

2. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper. Set it aside.

3. Wash the lettuce and place it in a serving bowl. Toss the greens with the vinaigrette, the slice onion, ½ of the almonds, and half of the orange segments.

4. Decorate the top of the salad with the remaining orange segments and the remaining Marcona almonds.




Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients

World’s Healthiest Foods – oranges


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.



Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up! Alanna – Kitchen Parade Veggie Adventure – Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living,  Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This recipe is also posted at Pennywise PlatterFull Plate ThursdayWhole Foods Wednesday, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Roasted Bell Pepper Salad with Tuna and Orzo

Roasted Bell Pepper with Tuna and Orzo

Roasted Bell Pepper with Tuna and Orzo

Roman Vessel

Roman Vessel


I had an unforgettable weekend in Barcelona. Besides going to some very interesting restaurants: La Tramboia, Cerveceria Catalana and Farga, we visited the Museo de Historia de la Ciudad de Barcelona and saw the remains of a Roman town under the buildings of the downtown area, by the cathedral­. It was truly spectacular! But… let’s get to this week’s Power Food.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, bell peppers are one of my favorite vegetables. Here’s a quick reminder of how much I care for them: Red Bell Pepper Sauce, Bell Peppers for Your Wrinkles, Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto, Samfaina, and Quick Red Pepper Hummus. Of course the main reason I’m so crazy about them is they are so wonderfully delectable, but they’re also an extraordinary healthy food. They are high in vitamins C, A, can B6, they are an excellent source for carotenoids which help boost immunity and fight cancer. If you have weak eyes you may want to consider buying orange bell peppers, as they are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. The bad news is that peppers are on the list of vegetables having excessive pesticides. Try buying organic when they are on sale, and freeze them whole so they don’t dry out and loose their nutrients. Oh, and by the way, bell peppers are good for avoiding wrinkles.

My roasted bell pepper with tuna and orzo salad may be eaten cold, hot, or at room temperature. The roasted pepper used as a serving boat adds an interesting touch to this healthy pasta salad. Try it!


Servings: 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 to 45 minutes


3 large whole bell peppers, red, green, yellow or orange

1/3 cup minced onion

1 cup corn, cooked,

1/3 cup chopped green olives (optional)

½ cup tuna, packed in oil and drained

1-1/2 tablespoons minced parsley

2/3 cup orzo, or small star pasta ( 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 cup cooked)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2-1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar

Garnish – chopped lettuce or parsley leaves


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

2. Cook the Peppers: While the oven is heating slice the bell peppers lengthwise and de-seed. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spread 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over the bottom of the sheet pan. Place the pepper on it and place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. (While they are cooking you may want to start cooking the pasta.) Remove the sheet pan from the oven and turn the peppers over and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. After this, remove them from the oven and arrange them on a serving plate. Cut off any burned skin or flesh and discard it.

3. Cook the Pasta: Fill a small pot with 5 cups of salted water. When the water comes to a boil add the pasta and cook it until the pasta is al dente, and then strain it. Place it in a medium bowl and stir in 2-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.

4. Mix the salad ingredients: After the pasta has cooled about 15 minutes, add the corn, olives, tuna, parsley, and the vinegar. Check the seasoning and add salt, or other seasonings to taste.

5. Arrange the Salad – having placed the peppers in a circle on a round plate, or in row on a rectangular plate, fill each pepper with the salad and garnish the center with chopped lettuce, or parsley leaves.


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.


Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!

Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots, Bambi – Adobo Down Under, Casey – Bookcase Foodie Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink,


This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Check out Kitchen Daily for more bell pepper recipes.

Beet Salad with Feta and Mint

Beet Salad with Feta and Mint

Beet Salad with Feta and Mint


For me, and possibly for you too, summer brings the tasty pleasures of fresh fruit and vegetables and the time to enjoy eating them in the company of friends and family. I have wonderful memories as a child sitting at the dinner table surrounded by my family eating freshly cooked corn on the cob harvested from the backyard garden. Now, as a mother and cook, I enjoy creating food that, hopefully, will last in the memories of my kids. But, as you probably well know, kids don’t always love what you feed them. Some vegetables my kids love, and some they don’t. Some vegetables they learn to appreciate, slowly. The beet is one vegetable they are learning to like… slowly.

I’ve seen children whine and push the vegetables away while the parent does nothing more than suggest that the child eat them, the child whines some more, and with that wins the argument. When my boys were young, I heard the excellent advice that to get your kids to like their vegetables, you had to go about it by building on it over time. She doesn’t like peas? Don’t give her a half-cup serving. Give her one-teaspoon; but, she must eat that teaspoon. As the child grows you increase the serving size until it is a full serving. I have followed this method and both boys eat their vegetables, though there are a couple of vegetables they are still working on.

This week our Power Foods blog group praises beets for their healthy properties. Beets are low in calories, high in fiber, beta-carotene, folic acid and iron. One little known fact that most people don’t know is that the leaves are about twice as nutritious as the root, so don’t throw them away! Beet salad with feta and mint is delightful, and beets also add a deep red color to your salad. They are especially good shredded and topped with lemon juice. Your kids may not like the taste to begin with, but stick with it. Use a cookie cutter and make them look more attractive.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes



3 to 4 cups lettuce, mixed farm lettuce, butter lettuce, or a mix of rocket and green lettuce, washed and torn

2/3 cup cooked sliced beets

¼ to 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup fresh mint, torn

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and white pepper



Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and the olive oil, and then season with salt and white pepper.

Arrange the salad: Place the lettuce greens on the bottom of the serving plate and top with the beets, the feta cheese and the mint. Pour the dressing over the tip of the salad and toss it.


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine ) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.


Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!

Alyce – More Time at the Table,  Ansh – Spice Roots, Casey – Bookcase Foodie

Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living,

Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink


This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts

California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts

California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts


It wasn’t easy getting out of bed today after lots of good fun and tension. Last night (Wednesday) we were biting our nails as we watched the Spanish soccer team play off against Portugal in the European Semi-finals. The game went to the penalties because neither team had been able to score a goal. But, the team pulled it off, sending the Portuguese home, and sending our team on to the finals. I snapped a photo of the street celebration at the Plaza de Santa Domingo, in León, Spain.


Plaza de Santa Domingo after winning the European Cup Semi-Fianls

Plaza de Santa Domingo in León, Spain, after winning the European Cup Semi-Finals

And now, lets get to the, also important, food talk. This is week three of our new blog group where we blog about Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients.” The luscious avocado makes the grade.

Technically, the avocado is a fruit—the shape even similar to a pear— but people tend to think of it as a vegetable because it is not sweet, and it’s used in many types of salads, or along with an entrée.

And here’s why it’s good for you: it’s a great anti-inflammatory food; it’s loaded with fiber and potassium, and it’s a good source of vitamin K and E. It’s also believed that avocado raises your good cholesterol (LDL), while it lowers the bad cholesterol (HDL). Some people shy away from avocados because of the high fat content, but it’s good fat you don’t want to miss out on.

My California salad with avocado, orange, and walnuts is very quick and easy to prepare. To see how to slice orange segments check the technique in my recipe for Spanish salad.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes



¼ small onion, slice into thin strips

1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallot

¼ cup walnuts

4 cups lettuce, washed and torn

Segments of one orange

1 Hass avocado, sliced lengthwise

¼ cup natural cheddar cheese cubes (optional)

1-1/2 teaspoons orange juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and white pepper



Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the minced shallot, orange juice, white wine vinegar, and the olive oil, and then season with salt and white pepper.

Arrange the salad: Place the lettuce greens and the sliced onions in the bottom of the bowl and decorate the top by alternating the avocado with the tomato slices and the orange segments. Top with the (optional) cheese, and the walnuts. Pour the salad dressing over the top and toss just before serving.


Reference: World’s Healthiest Foods
If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the 38 Power Foods blog group, we’d love to have your company. Contact: mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!

Alyce – More Time at the Table,  Ansh – Spice Roots, Casey – Bookcase Foodie

Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living,

Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink


This recipe is also posted at Full Plate Thursday and the Pennywise Platter


Tabouli – 50 Women Game Changers – Soraya Darabi and Alexa Andrzejewski #49

Whole wheat cous cous

Whole Wheat Cous Cous


Have you ever been to a restaurant and taken a picture of the food to show to your friends? This week’s changers, #49  from Gourmet Online’s “50 Women Game Changers,” made a business out of doing just that—sharing pictures of food. Alexa Andrzejewski got the idea of creating a guide to food when she was visiting Japan. With the help from Ted Grubb, a techie, the idea turned into photo sharing software. When Soraya Darabi came on board, her background as social media manager for The New York Times gave credibility to the project and the team secured $3 million in funding. The name of the website and i-phone application is Foodspotting.

Alexa, Ted, and Soraya are not famous cooks or chefs. They just like the idea of knowing what’s being served at your neighborhood restaurant. So for today’s recipe I’m choosing a food that I like to eat at one of my favorite restaurants.

I rarely eat out in restaurants. It’s no fun for me to try something hoping that it will be good. That’s not enough; I have to know it will be good. Since I can cook most anything that’s plated up for me, I’m often left thinking “I could have made this at home and saved fifty bucks.” But, there is one restaurant I like to visit here in Tempe, Arizona. Haji Baba is small Middle Eastern restaurant that has very affordable pricing, and the food is very good.  I started going there when I moved to Arizona a long time ago. My favorite plate is the vegetarian platter, which includes baba ganoush, tzatziki, falafel balls with a special tahini sauce, stuffed grape leaves, tabouli, and a side of pita bread.  Their tabouli is good, heavy handed on the parsley, and light on the grain. I learned to love Middle Eastern food at Haji Baba, but still prefer my own tabouli. I think you’ll love the following recipe, and it’s a healthy choice!


Prep Time: 25 minutes, and 3 to 4 hours for the salad to chill

Servings: 8

Yield: 8 cups


1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1-1/4 cups whole wheat cous cous (available at Trader Joe’s)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

6 scallion stalks, chopped

¾ cup minced parsley

1 tomato, core removed, and chopped

2-1/2  tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste



1) Put a small pot of water on the stove and pour into it 1-1/4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil and then add the cous cous and stir well. Remove the pot from the stove, cover it, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

2) After this time, fluff the cous cous with a fork and then allow it to cool. When it is cold enough, put it into a large bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

3) When the cous cous is cold ad the cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, parsley, tomato, lemon juice, and the olive oil. Check the seasonings, and add salt to taste.


Check out what these other great cooks have come up with:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Heather – Girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living,  Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me  Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts, Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds,   Linda A – There and Back Again, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits,  Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen,  Annie– Most Lovely Things , Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook,  Amrit Beetles Kitchen, Alyce – More Time at the Table, Jill – Saucy Cooks, Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

This recipe is also posted at Full Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter




East Meets West Roasted Buckwheat Salad

East Meets West Buckwheat "Tabouli"

East Meets West Buckwheat "Tabouli"


After spending two weeks reading and testing recipes from two well-known Japanese food cooks, Elizabeth Andoh, and Harumi Kurihara, I couldn’t get their food flavors out of my mind, so I did little experimenting with them. However, I wanted to take one path to get to two destinations, because I’ve also been wanting to do something with buckwheat groats for at least a year now, since my friend Hilde spoke to me about the use of roasted buckwheat, also known as Kasha, in Eastern European cooking. I came up with an “East Meets West Roasted Buckwheat Salad” inspired by the flavors of both worlds.  The salad is similar to tabouli, but with Asian flavors.

Buckwheat is a very good grain for your healthy eating habits. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, it’s good for your cardiovascular system, helps prevent gallstones, breast cancer, and puts you at a lower risk for diabetes. And, although the suffix of buckwheat is “wheat” it is from a different botanical family than wheat and it is safe to eat for people who are gluten intolerant. It’s also quick and easy to prepare.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

Yield: 5 to 6 cups


¾ cup roasted buckwheat groats

½ green bell pepper, chopped into ½ inch cubes

½ red bell pepper, chopped into ½ inch cubes

½ cucumber, peeled, seed and chopped into ½-inch cubes

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

7 stalks green onion

Carrot, ¾ cup, chopped into ½-inch cubes

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

For the Dressing:

¾ tablespoon tamari soy sauce

1-1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced


1. Fill a small pot with 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil, and then add ½ teaspoon salt and the roasted buckwheat. Cook the buckwheat groats watching them carefully, so as not to overcook them—about 15 minutes. Buckwheat groats can easily turn mushy. It’s not pasta, but think al dente, cook until still slightly firm to the bite. When it is ready, place the cooked grain in a colander and rinse with cold water.

2. Fill a separate small pot with 1-1/2 cups of water and bring it to a boil, and then add the chopped carrots and salt, and cook approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until they are tender. Strain and rinse them with cold water. Set them aside.

3. Line up the green onions and cut off the tips and discard them. Slice through the scallions horizontally 3 inches from the tops, and then shred those pieces lengthwise, (these will be used to decorate the top of the salad). Slice what remains of the stalks horizontally at 1/4-inch intervals.

4. Place the buckwheat, the carrots, red and green bell peppers, cucumber, cilantro, and green onion in a salad bowl and toss with the salad dressing.

Garnish – Toasted almond slivers and the shredded green onion.