Sunday, July 23, 2023

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad is a simple everyday Persian salad that is filled with fresh, crunchy ingredients that bursts with flavor.  The six ingredient salad perfect summer!

Shirazi Salad

    If you are following the Mediterranean diet or like Middle Eastern, or Persian food then this is a great salad for you.  It calls for only 6 ingredients to make!

    Use the best summer tomatoes you can find.  I like Roma tomatoes, which I core and seed.  Persian cucumbers are short thin, and seedless, plus they have a thin skin so they don't need peeling.  They are great to snack on and have a fresh flavor.  If you can't find these then English or hothouse cucumbers would be your next choice.  Use red onion, fresh mint, and some lemon juice if you like to provide a little acid.  Everything should be diced really fine.  To cut down on my knife work I used my Mueller Multi Chopper.  It was perfect for the job, making a fine dice of all the veggies that was done in minutes!

    Try this simple salad today.  It will be one that you will make on repeat all summer!


What Ingredients do I need?

  • Persian cucumbers - English cucumber (or hothouse) will work as well
  • Ripe Tomatoes - I love Roma, but any fresh tomatoes will work.  You will need to core and see them as you don't want any of the extra juice.
  • Red onion
  • Fresh Mint
  • Lemon - for juicing
  • Olive oil

Substitutions and Variations

  • Leave out the mint if you don't care for it. Or use dried mint.
  • Use your favorite type of tomato, even cherry tomatoes would be fun.  Just keep everything chopped around the same size.
  • You want a cucumber that doesn't have seeds.  English and Perisan are great since you don't have to peel them.  If all you can find are regular cucumbers, make sure to peel and seed them on the inside.  You don't want the extra juices from the seed pulp in your salad.

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • It's best to add the olive oil to each serving.  If you toss it over the entire salad then any leftovers will get pretty soggy.
  • Use a really good olive oil, with a good flavor.

  • I love my Mueller Multi Chopper!  I made this salad in about 10 minutes using this chopper.  Saved me a lot of time and a lot of knife work.
  • Leftovers should be placed in a sealed container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Shirazi Salad

serves 4

4 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber
4 Roma tomatoes, cored and seeded
1/2 small red onion
1 lemon
olive oil
10-12 leaves of mint, chopped
kosher salt & black pepper to taste

Finely chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion in to a small dice and place together in a medium bowl.  Add the fresh mint and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the salad tossing the ingredients.

Add servings to individual dishes and bowls and douse with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Serve at room temperature.  

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

 A bold Southwestern flavored salad filled with grilled chicken and fresh summer produce and doused with a lime garlic vinaigrette.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

Today we talking about main course salads which are salads that include vegetables and protein and are hearty and satisfying enough on it's own to be the main course.  My Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad is bursting with bold flavors from the chili lime seasoned grilled chicken and Latin inspired dressing.  It also has a ton of seasonal produce such as fresh corn right from the cob, ripe summer tomatoes, refreshing cucumbers, buttery avocados, and crisp lettuce.  This is all topped with some shredded cheddar cheese and doused with a Latin inspired lime garlic dressing.  So flavorful it's a party in your mouth!

This recipe is an easy weeknight or weekend meal.  Perfect for taking to a picnic or eating alfresco on the patio or deck.  The bold flavor make this dish so tasty that my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  The perfect meal for a hot summer evening.


What Ingredients do I need?

  • chicken cutlets - store bought thin sliced chicken breasts or take a regular chicken breast and cut it in half horizontally to make cutlets
  • chili lime seasoning ( I used Trader Joe's) but any brand will do
  • olive oil
  • limes
  • green leaf lettuce
  • avocado
  • English cucumber
  • cheddar cheese
  • Roma tomatoes
  • corn on the cob
  • garlic cloves

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use your favorite lettuce, butter, red leaf, or romaine would taste great
  • Add cilantro as an herb to the salad
  • Use different tomatoes such as cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Season the chicken with taco seasoning or  Mexican oregano along with the marinade
  • Use lemons instead of limes
  • Cotija cheese would be wonderful instead of the cheddar
  • Add black beans to the salad 

Kitchen Tips and Equipment

  • I use the Chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe's.  It has really great flavor
  • Mixing Bowls:  I love these White Rhino mixing bowls with lids to use as a salad bowls.   I also love my wooden bowl for salads.  And of course my Italian glass Bormioli bowl is wonderful as well.
  • Salad Servers:  Everyone should have a great pair of salad servers to toss and serve salad easily.  I prefer these wood ones.

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Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

serves 4-6

4 thin chicken cutlets
Chili lime seasoning ( I used Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 limes, divided use
1/2 head large red leaf lettuce, sliced
l large avocado, peeled and sliced
1 large English cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, grated
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 ears of corn, cooked and kernels sliced off
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Season both sides of the chicken cutlets liberally with Chili lime seasoning (Trader Joe's).  Place in a ziploc bag.  Add the olive oil and the juice of 1 lime.  Seal and toss chicken in the coating.  Marinate on the counter for 30 minutes while you prepare the salad.

To a large bowl add the sliced lettuce, topping with the tomatoes, cucumber, corn, cheddar cheese.  Place in the refrigerator until serving time.

Preheat your grill to medium high heat.  Grill chicken 4 minutes per side or until done depending on thickness (internal temperature of 160 degrees).  Remove chicken from the grill to a cutting board and allow to rest 10 minutes.

In a small liquid measuring cup add all the dressing ingredients and whisk together.

Cut chicken in to strips or cubes and add to the salad.  Add the sliced avocado to the salad as well.  Drizzle with the dressing and toss and serve.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Spice it Up!

Try making one or more of my spice blends to use this summer for a flavor boost in a variety of dishes!

Spice it Up!

One of the easiest ways to make food tasty is using a spice blend.  Today I'm going to give you recipes for some basic but popular spice blends along with some ideas for using them all summer long.

All you need are some basic spices and an empty jar.  Mix these together and they will last for several months in the pantry.


Italian Seasoning

Combine 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper; 1 Tbsp dried thyme, crushed; 1 Tbsp dried rosemary, crushed; 1 Tbsp dried oregano, crushed; and 1 Tbsp dried basil, crushed.  Makes 1/4 cup.

Use In:

Greek Seasoning

Combine 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic; 1 tsp dried minced onion; 1 tsp dried marjoram, crushed; 1 tsp dried basil, crushed; 2 tsp dried thyme, crushed; and 1 Tbsp dried oregano, crushed.  Makes about 3 Tbsp.

Use In:

  • Grilled Chicken Souvlaki or Chicken Gyros
  • Greek Grilled Pork Chops
  • Greek Salad Dressing
  • Greek Oven Roasted Potatoes
  • Add to sour cream or yogurt with some lemon for a great dip
  • Make Greek chicken, turkey, or beef burgers

Taco Seasoning

Combine 1 Tbsp salt; 1-2 tsp onion powder; 1-2 tsp black pepper; 3-4 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed; 2 Tbsp. ground cumin, 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper; and 3-4 Tbsp chili powder.  Makes about 2/3 cup.

Use In:

Herbes de Provence

Combine 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed; 1 tsp dried lavender, crushed; 1 tsp dried sage, crushed, 1 dried rosemary, crushed; 1 Tbsp dried marjoram, crushed; 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed; and 1 tsp dried basil, crushed.  Makes about 3 Tbsp.

Use In:

  • Sprinkle in rice
  • Grilled Chicken sprinkled with Herbes de Provence
  • Summer Ratatouille
  • Roasted Fish
  • Roasted Vegetables sprinkled with Herbes de Provence

Suggested Items

24Pcs,Glass Spices Container Set with White Printed Labels $27.97

General Storage Tips

Pour these spice blends into a small glass or plastic jars with tight-fitting lids.  Store in a cool, dark place for 6 months.  

Friday, July 7, 2023

Amazon Prime Sales: 10 Kitchen Essentials


Amazon Prime Day is July 11th -12th this year, but there are some great Limited Time Deals with Prime on Kitchen Essentials that you can score right now!

I wanted to bring you some items that are great kitchen basics at really great prices.  So check out the items below and get ready to stock up on essentials for the summer and beyond.  I've linked all the items for you as well as listing the sale price.  They are really great deals, so I hope you enjoy this.

Pyrex 3 Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set, Includes 1-Cup, 2-Cup, and 4-Cup Tempered Glass Liquid Measuring Cups  $22.09 - These are a must have in my kitchen!

Round Ice Cube Tray with Lid & Bin Ice Ball Maker  $17.99  Who doesn't love making those cute round ball ice cubes for all your summer drinks and cocktails.

Homemade Popsicle Molds Shapes, Silicone Frozen Ice Popsicle Maker-BPA Free, with 50 Sticks, 50 Bags, 10 Reusable Sticks, Funnel and Ice Pop Recipes  $20.39  We enjoy homemade popsicles all summer long.

Juicer Machine, 600W Juicer with 3.5” Big Mouth for Whole Fruits and Veg  $48.44  We love taking advantage of all the summer fruits and juice them daily.

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven, 6-Quart  $30.41  Every kitchen needs this workhorse for soups, roasts, braising...I have several of these.

PRAKI Airtight Food Storage Containers Set with Lids - 24 PCS  $33.99  Love these containers for pantry storage.  The look is clean and organized.

Ninja DZ201 Foodi 8 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air Fryer with 2 Independent Frying Baskets  $159.95  Where would we be without the air fryer?  I love the 2 basket version to cook a large volume or multiple items.

Organic Bamboo Cutting Board Set of 3 with Lifetime Replacements $21.66  I can't live without my cutting boards.  These are nice and sturdy.

MOSFiATA 8" Super Sharp Professional Chef's Knife with Finger Guard and Knife Sharpener  $29.99  A must have knife in your collection.  

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates program. Should you purchase and items from some of the links above I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Mojo Pork Fajitas

These Mojo Pork Fajitas are exploding with flavors and spices and are sure to be liven up your taste buds!

Mojo Pork Fajitas

I've got a great dinner option to present to you today.  How about some fajitas?  We all love the classic steak or chicken fajitas but I found the most fabulous recipe using pork tenderloin.  I love a good tenderloin because it's a lean, cooks easily, and feeds a lot of people.  So pork fajitas it is!  This recipe calls for the pork tenderloin to be marinated in a citrus Cuban Mojo mixture.  This is the best flavored pork I've had in a long time and I'm sure you will agree.  To make this summer friendly,  everything is made on the grill.  Perfect to beat the summer heat.

Don't forget your summer fresh produce.  Bell peppers are in season from July through September so be sure to grab some of those along with a red onion to grill as well.   Add in some flour tortillas and maybe a side dish or two and you are good to go.  Side dishes could include Spanish rice, beans, or an Avocado citrus salad.      

This whole dish is easy to pull together, is packed with flavor bombs, and is perfect for any backyard gathering.  Even the upcoming 4th of July celebrations.


What Ingredients do I need?

  • olive oil
  • onion powder
  • limes for juicing
  • orange juice
  • ground cumin
  • dried oregano
  • garlic cloves
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • red sweet peppers
  • red onion
  • 8 inch flour tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Substitutions and Variations

  • swap the red bell pepper for green, yellow, or orange
  • use white or yellow onion instead of red
  • try adding grilled scallions

Kitchen Tips and Notes

Serve with:

  •    Spanish rice 
  •     refried or seasoned pinto beans
  •     avocado citrus salad
  •     quacamole and sour cream
  •     avocado crema


    • Can be adapted for an indoor grill or baked in the oven.
    • Wrap the tortillas in foil and place them on the grill (indirect heat) for 10 minutes to heat through.   

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    Mojo Pork Fajitas

    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
    1/3 cup lime juice
    1/3 cup orange juice
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
    6 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1 pound pork tenderloin
    2 large red sweet peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (2 large)
    2 medium onions, cut into thick slices (2 medium)
    8 8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
    Fresh cilantro (optional)
    Lime wedges (optional)
    For marinade, in a small bowl combine olive oil, onion powder, lime juice, orange juice, cumin, oregano, and garlic. Trim fat from meat and remove the silver skin by placing your knife under the edge and running it under while pulling the skin away from the meat. Place meat in a plastic bag or a large container. Remove about 1/3 cup of marinade for the vegetables and pour the rest of the marinade over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Place meat on the counter the last 30 minutes to bring to room temperature. 

    Preheat your grill to medium high heat.

    Brush bell pepper halves and onion slices with the reserved marinade; discard the remaining marinade. Drain meat.

    Place meat on the grill rack. Place pepper halves and onion slices on the grill as well. Cover and grill for 8 to 10 minutes for peppers or until you get char marks and they are crisp-tender, turning occasionally. Grill meatfor about 8-9 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F.

    Place tortillas wrapped in foil on the grill for 10 minutes using indirect heat Remove meat from grill. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut peppers into thin strips and chop onions. Slice meat. Serve meat and vegetables on warm tortillas. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.



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