Shrimp Garden Salad

April showers, both snow and rain, bring garden season and all the beautiful flowers and fresh veggies that it produces!! One of the first things to come up in your garden (and on sale at the grocery store) will be your lettuces, so thought I would share one of my favorite salads!

Shrimp, Mango, and Avocado Salad

Citrus Dressing:

3 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp olive oil


Red onion (thinly sliced, and soaked for 15 minutes in ice water–it takes the acidity out of the onion without affecting the flavor)
1 pd cooked small shrimp
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 oz. soft goat cheese
Boston Bibb (butter) lettuce, one head

Combine first 3 ingredients . Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine shrimp, mango, avocado, goat cheese and onion in large bowl. Mix in half of the dressing. Tear lettuce into bite sized pieces and toss with remainder of dressing. Separate into 4 bowls and top each with shrimp mixture

Gazpacho Salad with Whole Wheat

This is one of my favorite spring time salads, served over a grilled steak, it’s the best. I found the recipe in my Betty Crocker collection several years back and I find it stays in my “current picks” never put back in the right place, because I use it ALL the time. Love it!

1 cup wheat berries
6 1/2-inch thick slices whole grain crusty country bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon snipped fresh tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces Manchego or Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup sliced or chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup seeded and chopped yellow sweet pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons snipped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper

1. In a medium bowl combine wheat berries and 3 cups water. Let soak 1 hour; drain. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches; place over high heat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until wheat berries are tender and some of the grains are splitting open at the tip. Pour into a fine mesh strainer; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Let cool completely.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. In a small bowl combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. oregano, and 1 tsp. tarragon. Brush olive oil mixture on bread slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Bake 20 minutes or until bread is crisp. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 2 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine chickpeas (if using), tomatoes, grapes, cucumber, sweet pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, red onion, red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. oregano, 2 tsp. tarragon, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss to combine. Add wheat berries; toss to mix well.
4. To serve, spoon wheat berry mixture over bread slices. Sprinkle with black pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Incredible Fish Nachos

I know everyone has heard of fish tacos by now, but these are even more amazing… YUM

For the longest time, I wasn’t really a fan of fish tacos, then we made them at home and I fell in love. Tonight, I didn’t have any taco shells so we had nachos and I needed extra sauce, so I mixed up a light dill and lemon sauce to go with them… YUM Delicious.

Pssst…. I get my fresh ground dill from Sage Hill Farms.

Fish – about 2 lbs of fish, scramble fried in very little oil. (I had ocean perch, but I’m sure about any kind would work well.)

Toss in about a tablespoon of fresh ground dill, 1/4 teaspoon of Cheyenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

Shred a half head of lettuce fine and toss lightly with a diced tomato and 1/2 onion diced.

Spread chips over a plate and layer on lettuce mixture, white shredded cheese and about 1/2 cup of fish.

Top with lemon/herb sauce (recipe below).

Serve with lime wedges and corn salsa on the side.

Lemon & Herb Sauce

1 cup mayo
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh ground dill
1/2 teaspoon cheyenne pepper

Drizzle over top of taco/nachos.

My kids (who don’t like fish) love this dish. Even the grandkids love this recipe.

Brought to you by:
Sage Hill Farms and Vintage Store

Pasta Meal for Pot Luck

Everyone always asks what to take for a pot luck dinner at church, and this favorite keeps coming back year after year. We always enjoy revisiting the old favorites, because we know they are well loved.

Cook fresh pasta – any kind – a BIG Pot of it.

Add in all your favorite pasta veggies – chopped up bite size – fresh.
We add onion, bell pepper, tomato, corn (unusual – but delicious), grated carrots, celery, Zucchini, cucumber, chopped up chicken and some drained and rinsed black beans.

Drizzle on a bottle of Italian Salad dressing and toss lightly to coat all the pasta.

Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add in some fresh chopped basil and parsley and you’ve got a meal fit for a king!

Everyone at the pot luck is going to rave over this salad and it’s so easy, they’ll NEVER know, unless you tell them that you put it all together while the kids finished getting ready for church this morning. Talk about your soul saving, baptism type meal – this is it!

Chocolate Decor

Chicken N Pepper Casserole

Here’s a summer family favorite – complete with easy sides.

Chicken N Pepper Casserole
Heat through 4 cups diced chicken and one can of diced tomatoes with peppers, pour over 4 cups of cooked steamed rice in large casserole. Top with 1/2 cup green onions and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Cover or bake 10 minutes to melt cheese.

This favorite family meal includes enough yummy food for guests who might stop by if you add a salad, vegetable and desert.

Some of our favorites include green peas, spinach salad and sherbet. Nothing better than orange sherbet topped with whipped cream for a summer gathering.

Franks Chicken Cream Cheese Wraps

Looking for a NEW hot and spicy meal for dinner? Try this healthy and delicious chicken recipe.

About 2 lbs shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup Franks Hot sauce
6 – 8 ounces of cream cheese
Heat through – stirring to keep from browning or burning.

In spinach wrap, place about
2/3 cup of chicken mixture
2 – 4 tablespoons grated cheese
4 – 5 slices of avocado
Sprinkle with a bit of Franks Hot Sauce
Wrap tight and serve.

Makes 5 – 8 wraps, depending on size of wraps.

We’re all really big on wraps, because they can be increased or decreased in size according to the number of people and side dishes.

This one is spectacular with a salad full of greens, tomatoes and onion.

Denver Food and Fun

On the run?

Just tuck the salad in the wrap too! These are perfect take along meals for the ball game, just tuck them in the cooler with your drinks and a freezer pack, they’ll be yummy when you get there!

The kids call these Buffalo Chicken Wraps, because the flavor reminds them so much of Buffalo Wings. They are quickly becoming one of our Summer favorites.

Corn OFF the Cob Salad

This is a summer favorite at our house – you can’t miss with grilled corn, it’s so sweet and delicious, everyone loves it!

Grill corn for about 10 minutes to create black grill marks on corn.

Fry up a pound of bacon and break it into pieces.

Toss Spring Greens with Spinach leaves and red onion rings for salad base. Lightly toss in some bacon and the grilled corn you’ve sliced off the cob.

Top with a Sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing with a bit of extra honey for that natural sweet flavor.

If serving this for dinner, add some sliced boiled egg, shredded cheese and a crusty bread. You’ve got a great meal for a few cents per person!

Garlic Chicken Breasts – Deliciously Served with a HUGE Salad

My kids now refer to my salads as Grasshopper Greens. LOL

Dandelion GreensGotta love kids who recognize the Dandelion Greens in the grocer’s freezer. Either they were raised harvesting the front yard (we don’t say THAT in front of the City Code Inspector) or they grew up in a neighborhood where Dandelion’s were a sacred part of the gardening scheme, right? Well, in reality, neither one, but they THINK they harvested the front yard, because they’ve been eating Dandelion Greens since they were knee high to the pup next door.

Serve up a handy sized portion of greens on a plate with this incredibly yummy delicious chicken, pan sauteed in butter with a sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder and a little seasoning salt and you’ve got a meal fit for a King, if he’s even the least bit REAL on the inside. We love this menu, drizzled with a bit of lime juice and some great sunflower seeds to add crunch to the salad, it’s an amazing meal. The kiddos like theirs with a handful of grape tomatoes and some garlicky cheese bread straight from the oven. But I take mine straight with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on the salad, maybe throw in a handful or two of craisins for that sweet flavor without the sugar.

It takes about twenty minutes to saute the chicken with the seasonings ready, and you’re sitting down with candle light before the sun goes down. Can’t you just imagine a candle light dinner on the deck with the sun setting, and a flavorful meal before you? Sounds extra yummy.
Live Green - Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Black Bean Chips – Salsa de Verde is Big Business

When we sit down to dinner at our house, there’s just something about the conversation. Recently my son-in-law came up with the brilliant idea of opening a restaurant. He’s an Army cook, so that wasn’t a big stretch for him, but the concept was flying right over my head, until he shared that he wanted me to help run it.

Ping… I’m awake now.

What? Me run a restaurant? Okay, it’s not a huge leap, I did it before. But seriously? Now?

Okay… breathe. What’s on the menu?

My recent ventures into glutton free eating raised a giant red flag and the world stopped turning, then he said, “We could do a specialized menu for people who have stopped eating junk food. Limited portions, good food with real flavor but glutton free?”

Bea Kuntz suggested a sustainable restaurant on Sit and Sip, her Facebook group where foodies discuss… um, food. Bea is the gardeness at Sage Hill Farms, a fresh produce and herb garden in middle Tennessee. The thought definitely struck a chord with me. I love Bea’s teas. They’re an amazing addition to our diets and we all sip them eagerly in the mornings, as the fog lifts and life becomes busy again.

Sustainable menus in a restaurant that specializes in glutton free recipes. This could be a real deal. How about it? What do you think?

The next words out of his mouth sent me reeling for paper and pen, I had to take notes. Not only did the menu for our restaurant begin to take shape, but the process of putting it all together morphed into a planning session. While we chattered, he pulled out a bowl of fresh Salsa de Verde and we nibbled on glutton free black bean chips and salsa as we discussed the options of building a restaurant based on healthy food in healthy portions – reasonably priced, healthy portions, even.

These concepts came out pretty fast:

  • Create a sustainable menu that appeals to most age groups
  • Provide healthy, attractive children’s options on plastic dinnerware
  • Design a light, bright, appealing logo that says “food” in healthy proportions
  • Flavor has to be a BIG part of the package
  • Increase personal awareness of diet, nutrients and sustainable food sources
  • Magnify healthy options while keeping traditional flavor opportunities
  • Make sure it’s not only healthy but tastes great too!

The easy methods of starting a business were pretty much ironed out in that first discussion. The hard parts will be ironed out over the next several months as he’s deployed and returns to live his dream via a family restaurant where he’ll be manning the chef’s table with his mother-in-law. How fun!

Black Bean Chips you can get most any place – be sure they say Glutton FREE in the label.

Salsa de Verde —

2 cups finely diced tomatoes (peeled)

1/2 cup finely chopped jalepeno pepper

1 cup finely diced onion

2 cups diced avocado

1/2 cup diced mango

Toss it all lightly and add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve up with plenty of Black Bean Chips. Delicious!

Starting up businesses is what I do best.

Cooking – not so much, I’ll be leaving that part to him, while I man-up the “ADvertiZe” portion of the business, attracting clients with good presentation, attractive design and skilled business building techniques that I teach at with a great Ezine. Sign up for your FREE Copy, today.