Tag Archives: cooking

Black Bean Saute

This is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s easy, quick, delicious and healthy. What more could you ask for?

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small vidalia onion, diced

1/4 cup cider vinegar

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the red bell pepper and the onion. Saute  until tender. I let the onion just start to brown because this is how I like onions. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Then add the vinegar, beans, corn and peas. Saute until the frozen vegetables are cooked and the vinegar has reduced. Season with salt and pepper. That’s it!

I serve this with so many things! Grilled chicken, fajitas, burgers. I love to serve bunless burgers on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with avocado and salsa, with this veggie saute on the side. Excellent summer meal.


Warm Spinach Salad with Grilled Sausage

I got this recipe a few years ago from Real Simple magazine. It has become one of my absolute favorite summer grilling recipes. It is so delicious and perfect for eating outside in the summer. And, even better, it really couldn’t get much simpler. It is perfect for those summer nights or even afternoons for lunch when you are enjoying the nice weather and have little interest in putting a lot of effort into cooking. With this, you can have a fabulous outdoor meal with little effort, a dream come true!

To start, you need some sausages. Any kind you like. I use sweet Italian turkey sausage. You also need about 8 roma tomatoes and a large vidalia onion. Simply peel and slice the onion and cut the tomatoes in half (I cut off the ends first). You don’t want the onion slices too thin or they will be harder to flip on the grill. Or you can slice them thin and cook them in  a grill basket if you prefer. Brush both sides of the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

That’s it. Then put your sausage, onion and tomatoes on the grill.

While everything is on the grill, make the really simple dressing. You just have to put some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard (not yellow, yuck!), salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk them together. Dressing done!

Fill a large bowl with fresh baby spinach. As you take your veggies off the grill, put them right on top of the spinach. Then cover the bowl until ready to serve so the spinach warms up a little.

Looks Beautiful!

Then just slice the sausage, serve on top of the veggies, and drizzle some dressing on top. Perfect!

Here is the recipe as it appeared in Real Simple:

  • 4 Italian sausages (about 1 pound)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 bunches spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1Heat grill to medium-high. With a fork, prick the sausages in several places. Grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • 2Meanwhile, brush the tomatoes and onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill until tender, 5 to 6 minutes per side for the onion and 2 to 3 minutes per side for the tomatoes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl as they are done, add the spinach, and toss.
  • 3In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, the remaining 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slice the sausages and serve with the vegetables and dressing.

Lemon Tarragon Tilapia

So simple, but so delicious. Served with roasted broccoli and mashed cauliflower. Also both really simple.

Just sprinkle the tilapia with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Then cook over medium high heat in a pan with some olive oil and butter. Once the tilapia is done, remove it from the pan. Then add lemon juice to the pan and scrape up anything stuck to the pan. Add a little more butter and tarragon to the lemon juice and stir until the butter is melted into the lemon juice. Pour some sauce over each tilapia filet to serve.

For the cauliflower, toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and some crushed garlic. The garlic should be to your taste, I like a lot. Roast at 375 for 45 minutes, turning two or three times during roasting. The cauliflower could really be done here. It is delicious like this. But sometimes I prefer the consistency of mashed with a meal. Here, I thought the mashed would be great with the lemon butter sauce from the fish. So then I put the roasted cauliflower in a food processor. Add some thyme and olive oil (about a tbsp of each per head of cauliflower), and process. Don’t think you can just steam the cauliflower if you are going to mash it. I’ve tried that and it is not nearly as good as when you roast it first.

The broccoli is just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 375 for 30 minutes. Roasted broccoli is the best. So much more flavor than steamed! And it stays nice and crisp instead of getting soggy.

Sorry I’m lacking measurements, but I don’t actually do a lot of measuring when I am cooking. Especially for an easy meal like this.

This meal has so much more flavor than you would ever expect for how simple it is. So good with a glass of white wine.

Beautiful Veggies on the Grill

This is pretty much how I cook all summer…just change up the protein to go with it.

Fancy Chili


This is the chili recipe I use from Real Simple. It uses fancier ingredients than most chili recipes, like semisweet chocolate and red wine vinegar, but that makes it so much more flavorful. I usually use turkey instead of beef, sometimes half ground turkey and half turkey sausage. I also use beer in place of the water for even more flavor. I’ve never put avocado on top either. I like mine with some plain greek yogurt on top. 

It sounds fancy, but the prep is actually very easy. Enjoy!