GREEK-ISH SALAD

Why Greek-ish? I had this beautiful avocado that begged to be included in the party, and then there was the dressing. I let my guys choose their own rather than whip up a traditional vinaigrette. And it was delicious!

Greek-Ish Salad

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

3 green onions, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

1 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese

Dressing of your choice

1) Divide romaine lettuce between four plates; scatter green onions, red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, kalamata olives, and feta cheese over top; serve with dressing of your choice~and enjoy!

Servings: 4

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BLUE CORN CHIPS HUEVOS RANCHEROS

This huevos rancheros dish is a quick and easy solution to warm weather dining when the last thing the cook needs is to spend an inordinate amount of time running around a hot kitchen. It’s also pretty easy on the eaters—substantial without being heavy. Give it a try!

Blue Corn Chips Huevos Rancheros

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp butter

8 eggs

2 cups salsa verde sauce

3 cups blue corn tortilla chips

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced thin

4 oz crumbled queso fresco cheese

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1) To medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil; add onions and cook 5 minutes until softened; reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, chipotle chile, cumin, sea salt, and water and cook 5 minutes; reduce heat to lowest setting to keep warm

2) In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; break eggs into skillet and cook to desired doneness (I cooked 3 minutes until whites started to set, added 1 tbsp water, and covered with a lid to allow the whites to set more firmly and the yolk to cook partway without flipping–yum!); remove from heat

3) Assemble each of four plates as follows, dividing ingredients between them: spoon 1/2 cup salsa verde on plate and scatter chips over it, top with eggs, scatter avocado, cheese, and cilantro over it all; serve it up!

Servings: 4

ASPARAGUS-CHICKPEA-WHITE CHEDDAR SALAD WITH SHRIMP

We are talking salad weather! Though this was to have been a meatless meal, my guys were hungry, so I piled on a bit of cooked shrimp and they were quite pleased with their dinner. Love those chickpeas!

Asparagus-Chickpea-White Cheddar Salad

1 tbsp olive oil

1 naan bread (or pita), cut into 1″ squares

sea salt

ground black pepper

20-25 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2″ pieces

6 cups fresh spinach

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

6 oz white cheddar, cut into small cubes

1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

12 oz cooked shrimp (optional), tailless, peeled, and deveined

Dressing of your choice (vinaigrette is nice)

1) Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add naan bread and cook, turning often, 5 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper, remove from skillet, and set aside to let cool

2) To skillet, add asparagus and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside to cool

3) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter the following over the top: cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus, kalamata olives, cheese, naan bread, chickpeas, and shrimp; serve with dressing of your choice

Servings: 4

BECKY DOUGHTY’S INTERVIEW WITH TAMARA LEIGH AND GIVEAWAY!

In celebration of the release of my third book in the Age of Faith series, THE REDEEMING, Becky Doughty invited me to visit at her BRAVEHEART BLOG. For a fun interview, hop on over. And don’t forget to enter to win one of my ebook’s–your choice.

Cover Redeeming FinalTo read an excerpt or purchase, visit Amazon.

THE REDEEMING: Book Three in the Age of Faith series: Available Now for $4.99

The journey to the publication of the Age of Faith series has been long and not without its hair-pulling moments (sometimes minutes, hours, and days). Now, with the release of the third and final book, it is complete. Well, maybe not the final book, meaning maybe the series isn’t complete. You see, Sir Abel Wulfrith became a more fully realized character in The Redeeming and, since the closing chapters, has refused to “leave me be.” To wit, an excerpt of the first two chapters of his own journey to love and faith is included in The Redeeming. Speaking of which, below is a peek at my latest inspirational novel:
Cover Redeeming Final
 

IN THE EYES OF THE CHURCH AND MEN, HERS IS NO SMALL SIN 

Lady Gaenor Wulfrith is a woman scorned. And King Henry’s pawn. After three broken betrothals, she is ordered to wed her family’s enemy, a man she has never met and has good reason to fear. Faced with the prospect of an abusive marriage that will surely turn worse when her sin is revealed, she flees her family’s home with the aid of a knight—a man who could prove her ruin.

 Christian Lavonne, the only remaining heir to the barony of Abingdale, has thrown off his monk’s robes—and God—to administer his lands. Determined to end the devastation wrought by his family’s feud with the Wulfriths, he agrees to marry his enemy’s sister, a woman no man seems to want. When he learns she has fled with a knight who has broken fealty with the Wulfriths, he pursues her, knowing that when they meet his own sin will be revealed and he will be as much in need of redemption as the woman who may carry another man’s child.

To read an excerpt or purchase a copy, visit Amazon: The Redeeming: Book Three in the Age of Faith series

 For a listing of my books, excerpts, reviews, etc., visit: www.tamaraleigh.com

BEEF-TOMATO-BEAN STIR FRY

Beans? Yes, beans in my beef and tomato stir fry. Did it work? It raised eyebrows, but it was bottom-of-the-bowl good!

Beef-Tomato-Bean Stir Fry

2 cups instant white rice

2 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 lbs top sirloin steak, sliced thin into bite-sized pieces

2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 green onions, sliced about 1/2″ thick

1-15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1-1/2 cups halved cherub (grape) tomatoes

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1) Prepare rice according to package directions; keep warm

2) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add steak, sprinkle with chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes until beef is just done throughout

3) Add green onions, kidney beans, and tomatoes and cook additional 5 minutes stirring often; remove from heat

4) Divide rice between four deep bowls; spoon beef stir fry over rice, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve

Servings: 4

GRADUATION SALAD

My mother and sister flew in for Junior’s graduation. Though I had planned to grill ribeye steaks, the hour was late and it seemed better to enjoy steaks on Friday night instead so we could linger over them without having a work day hanging over our heads. So I opened my newly-stocked refrigerator and tossed together this salad–pretty, tasty, and light. As for dressing, I turned to our favorite standby, Ken’s Steak House dressings: Blue, Ranch, and Raspberry Vinaigrette. Perfect!

Graduation Salad

8 cups fresh spinach

4 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded

2 mini bell peppers (read and yellow), sliced thin into rings

1 cup matchstick carrots

1-1/2 cups strawberries, sliced

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1 orange, peeled and diced

2 kiwis, peeled and chopped

1-1/2 cups deli-sliced turkey breast, diced

3/4 cup reduced-fat feta

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1) Easiest recipe ever (well, aside from the chopping, slicing, and dicing). Put everything in a large salad bowl, toss, and serve with your favorite dressing or a nice variety of dressings

Servings: 6

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/18/12.