As pricey as scallops are, the recipe had better be good when I plunk down hard-earned money for these delectable treats. Enter mushrooms, green beans, kalamata olives, and balsamic vinegar. Good recipe 🙂

Note: Consider warming oven-safe dinner plates in oven (170 degrees works well) while you’re cooking. It’s very little extra work and prevents the entree from cooling on its journey from kitchen to dining room (no excuse for scarfing down your lovingly prepared creation).

1 lb sea scallops

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp dried minced shallots

1 tsp dried basil

1-1/2 cups fresh green beans, sliced into 1″ pieces

8 oz sliced white mushrooms

1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced parsley

sea salt

ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees

2) Pat scallops dry (very important for a pretty seared surface)

3) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) in large skillet over medium heat; right before skillet starts smoking, add scallops and cook 1-2 minutes each side; transfer scallops from skillet to oven-safe plate and pop in oven to keep warm

4) To skillet add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil, shallots, and basil; stir; add green beans and cook 2 minutes; add mushrooms and Kalamata olives and cook 3-4 minutes; add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and butter; stirring often, cook 2-3 minutes; stir in parsley and lightly season with salt and pepper; remove from heat

5) Divide scallops between plates and spoon sauce over those lovely little gems; serve immediately

Serves: 4


Yes, I’ve been messing with traditional Greek Salad again by adding chicken and bacon (and romaine lettuce), but it’s how I pass off salad as an entree for my high-metabolism guys. And it worked again. They left the table full and with thumbs high in the air. Chicken…bacon…meet Greek Salad. Greek Salad…meet chicken and bacon. ENCHANTE’!

Another Greek-ish Salad

6 strips bacon

1-1/4 lb chicken tenderloins

1 large tomato, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 scallions, sliced thin

1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook 2-3 minutes each side until just crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towels

2) Add chicken to skillet and cook in bacon drippings 4-5 minutes each side until just cooked through; remove from skillet and let cool 5 minutes

3) Chop bacon, then cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside

4) In small bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper

5) To large bowl, add: tomato, cucumber, red and green bell pepper, feta cheese, scallions, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, bacon, chicken, and parsley; gently toss

6) Give olive oil-vinegar dressing a refresher mix, pour over salad, and gently toss

7) Divide romaine lettuce between 4 plates and spoon tomato-cucumber-chicken mixture over top; serve

Servings: 4


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


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


This dish exceeded my expectations. In fact, had there been second helpings, I would have been first with a hand in the air–delightfully tasty and tender. Which brings me to chicken tenderloins. I’m partial to these lovely cuts of chicken and, more often than not, substitute them for chicken breasts since they’re less likely to dry out during cooking and are thin enough to require little to no pounding when called for. There. Now give this dish a try. As beautiful as it is, it really is easy!

Kalamata & Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken


3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced into 1/8″ rings

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 tbsp capers

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp ground black pepper


2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1-1/2 lb chicken tenderloins (or chicken breasts pounded thin)

1) In medium bowl, combine topping ingredients, mixing well; set aside

2) Add olive oil to skillet and preheat to medium-high

3) Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix flour, oregano, salt, and pepper; dredge chicken in flour mixture

4) Add chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes each side until cooked through; remove from heat and arrange pieces on plates

5) Spoon Mediterranean topping over chicken and serve (side item pictured: sliced Campari tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt, ground black pepper, minced parsley, and shaved parmesan)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/03/12


Looks aren’t everything, but–goodness!–this dish tasted all the better for its beauty: golden-brown chicken, black kalamata olives, red grapes, greenest parsley, and the lovely contrast of shredded parmesan cheese. A one-skillet wonder!

Cast-Iron Chicken with Grapes and Kalamata Olives

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks (about 4 lbs)

2 cups whole seedless red grapes

1-1/2 cups whole pitted kalamata olives

1 red onion, sliced thin

3/4 cup white cooking wine

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp parsley

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees; lightly grease casserole dish with olive oil spray

2) In large oven-safe skillet (I used cast iron), heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat; sprinkle rosemary, salt, and pepper over oil and add chicken pieces to skillet; cook 3 minutes each side until golden brown; scatter grapes, olives, and onion over chicken and remove from stove top; bake in oven 20 minutes

3) Carefully turn chicken pieces, pour cooking wine and chicken broth over top, and bake 10 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink inside); scatter parmesan cheese and parsley over chicken and bake additional 5 minutes; serve paired with warm bread and a crisp salad

Servings: 4-6 (depending on how many guys are at your table with fork and knife in hand)


I served this lovely sandwich to my mother and sister for lunch when they flew in from Nevada for our son’s graduation last spring. Not only is it fairly easy to toss together (with a little pre-chopping and dicing), but it’s delicious and oh-so-pretty. The Kalamata olives and pepperoncini are the real stand-outs in this dish. Wonderful!

Tomato-Chicken-Kalamata Open-Faced Sandwich

2 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

2-15 oz cans chicken breast, drained

3 cups diced tomatoes (I used Campari)

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup parsley, minced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup pepperoncinis, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 thick slices french bread, cut on the diagonal

olive oil (for french bread)

sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) To large bowl, add lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, parsley, green onions, pepperoncinis, 2 tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper; set aside

3) Brush top of each french bread slice with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt; bake in oven 7-8 minutes

4) Place a french bread slice on each of 4 plates; spoon chicken salad over bread and serve

Makes: 4 hearty servings/6 lighter servings (if you add a couple slices of french bread)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/22/12.