Texas Caviar

I cannot take credit for the catchy name or the tasty combination of ingredients; I know quite a few home cooks who have their own version of this recipe on file! However, I can tell you how I make it as well as list a few unique ways to repurpose your leftovers!

Ingredients: Serves 10 – 12

  • 24 oz frozen corn, thawed
  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro (loosely packed), chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (plus extra)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus extra)


  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the last six ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add the liquid to the corn mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste preferences by adding additional salt and/or pepper..
  5. Let chill 2 – 3 hours, allowing flavors to develop.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.


IF you have them… consider the following (drain any liquid that accumulates first):

  • Add it to eggs in a scramble or a quiche, or use it in egg cups (search site for recipe).
  • Fold into corn bread batter to jazz up your corn muffins/corn bread.
  • Top grilled chicken or fish with a scoop.
  • Toss it with a green salad.

Kale and Berries Salad

An Instagram follower (you know who you are;) asked me to post this recipe, so here it is! It’s the perfect homage to summer!! Enjoy!

Ingredients: Feeds 2 – 4

  • 4 cups torn kale, ribs removed (I use organic red leaf)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds


  1. In a large serving bowl, mix torn kale with lemon juice and salt. Massage kale with your hands to tenderize it.
  2. Drizzle massaged kale with olive oil and season with fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Toss kale with strawberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Top with goat cheese crumbles and almonds.


Add protein to this salad to make it a complete meal! I’ve used grilled teriyaki pork loin but I think blackened chicken, salmon or even shrimp would pair nicely!



Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love this salad! Mostly because it’s so versatile (see substitutions) but also because it’s a delicious crowd pleaser and can be made ahead. It’s the perfect side dish or can serve as a main if you add protein. So get to it and come up with your own flavor combo and let me know how it goes by posting your comments below! Cheers!!

Ingredients: Feeds 6-8

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked farro, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz haloumi cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups baby arugula


  1. Cook farro according to package directions and let cool. Toast pine nuts and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine grape tomatoes, parsley and mint. Add haloumi, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and mix gently to incorporate.IMG_2983
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper.
  4. Combine farro and tomato mixture with 2/3 of the dressing, tossing gently to coat.
  5. Pour the remaining dressing into the bottom of a large shallow serving bowl. Top with arugula.
  6. Layer the farro salad on top of the arugula.
  7. Chill* and toss before serving.

*Salad can chill overnight.


The best part about this salad is making it your own! The original recipe was adapted from Food and Wine magazine but I change it up every time I make it!

  • barley or orzo for farro
  • walnuts or almonds for pine nuts
  • ricotta salata or feta for haloumi
  • grapes for grape tomatoes
  • blueberries/raspberries/strawberries for pomegranate seeds
  • add protein like grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal



Farro Salad with Roasted Veggies and Grilled Chicken

This deliciously refreshing and filling salad is perfect for a weeknight when prep time is limited!  The veggies roast up in under 20 minutes and if you have the farro and grilled chicken on hand already, from start to finish you can be enjoying this healthy and hearty dish in 30 minutes or less! On the flip side, this is a great dish for a get together and if served family style, is sure to impress!!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, sliced on a bias
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • black pepper
  • 5 oz baby arugula (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked farro (approx 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss asparagus, carrots and shallots in 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. Roast the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tarragon vinegar, parsley, lemon zest, a pinch of both black pepper and kosher salt, and remaining olive oil in a large bowl.
  5. Add arugula and cooked farro to the bowl and toss to coat.
  6. Divide the salad mixture among your plates. Top each with a serving of roasted veggies and slices of grilled chicken.
  7. Sprinkle each dish with chopped almonds and grated Parmesan.


  • For a meatless meal, eliminate the grilled chicken! Farro provides ample fiber to this dish and will leave you feeling satisfied.
  • Or sub your favorite meat/protein for chicken; try grilled pork, steak or salmon filets.
  • Cook a large batch of farro ahead of time and keep it on hand for recipes like this.  It keeps well for 3-5 days in the fridge.
  • If you don’t have tarragon vinegar on hand, combine 2 tbsp white wine vinegar with 1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon. You may wish to eliminate the parsley from the dressing and use it as a garnish if you go this route.

*Original recipe adapted from Cooking Light


Best Butternut Squash Soup

The added apple and cayenne pepper elevate the flavor and add a kick to this simple butternut squash soup!  It’s the perfect weeknight supper, paired with salad or sammies!  Start to finish, you can have it on the table in 40 minutes with only 10 minutes of active prep!

Ingredients: Feeds 4-6

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped (approx. 6-8 cups)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (I use Gala)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large dutch oven or enamel coated cast iron pot, sauté onion, celery and carrot in butter over medium heat until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the squash and apple, the cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne.  Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low until veggies are tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat.  Using an immersion blender, purée the soup to desired consistency.


  • Off heat, stir in sour cream to make it more creamy before you purée the soup.
  • Alternative spices include smoked paprika and/or cumin to give it a more middle eastern flair!
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, parsley, cilantro or chives… and don’t forget the toasted pepitas!

* Adapted from Simply Recipes, Butternut Squash Apple Soup


Lighten Up, Chicken Salad

After watching an episode of Rachel Ray in a doctor’s waiting room, I was inspired to create my own version of her Mediterranean Chicken Salad which uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise as the binding ingredient.  This chicken salad is light on calories but full on flavor; a few that might even surprise you!  Lighten up and go for it!


  • 1, 3-4 lb rotisserie chicken, picked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup green grapes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix using a rubber spatula.  Season with salt and pepper as desired!


  • Add more yogurt if you like your chicken salad to be more moist.
  • Substitute red grapes for green grapes.
  • Try using pecans or even cashews, just remember to toast them first to release their natural oils and full flavors!
  • Spice it up a notch and add more sriracha!!

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potato Pizza!?!

Took a chance on making this pizza for the first time on St. Patty’s Day!  Luckily, we were blown away by how tasty it was!  Almost everyone in attendance ranked it as their “favorite” food of the party!  It may sound like a weird combo of ingredients for a pizza but it is oh, so good!!!

Ingredients: Makes 2, 14 in pizzas

  • olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp of pickling spice
  • 1 large potato sliced thin on a mandolin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded not grated
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 packages of pre-made pizza dough at room temperature
  • flour for dusting
  • 6 – 8 oz of deli style Corned Beef, sliced thin


  1. In an a skillet with a lid, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced cabbage and sauté until wilted and caramelization begins.  Add enough water to cover the cabbage.  Add the pickling spice (tied in cheesecloth) and cover the skillet, allowing cabbage to braise until tender (approximately 20 minutes).  When fully cooked, drain water, remove spice pouch and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the potato, toss with a tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 475 for 10 – 12 minutes until the slices start to turn golden brown.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the 3 cheeses, set aside.
  4. With floured hands, carefully stretch each pizza dough ball into a 12-14 in pie.  You may need to also use a rolling pin on a floured surface to achieve the desired shape.  Place each pie on a greased cookie sheet or floured pizza stone.
  5. To assemble each pizza, begin by drizzling the dough with olive oil.  Next, add a thin layer of cheese, followed by a scattered layer of corned beef.  Sprinkle some more cheese before continuing to add the cabbage and the potato slices.  Finish with one more thin layer of cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper.
  6. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes or desired doneness.

*Adapted from foodnetwork.com and Penguin Pizza, Boston, MA