A Rice & Bean Salad

There are boat loads of rice & bean salad recipes out there.  Here is one I enjoy (love the toasted almonds and cilantro).  It can be served when the rice is still warm, or at room temperature, or chilled – all very good.


1/2 cup to 1 cup slivered almonds

2 TBS olive, canola, or vegetable oil – divided

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup rice

1 can cranberry or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tomato, chopped

3/4 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1/3 cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced

2 TBS red wine vinegar

2 TBS (or more) cilantro, chopped

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place almonds on cookie sheet.  Bake about ten minutes or until lightly toasted.  In sauce pan, saute chopped onion in one TBS oil until softened.  Add rice and water, bring to boil and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.  Add all ingredients together in a bowl, including second TBS of oil.  Toss to combine and enjoy.

The recipe for the chicken can be found here: balsamic chicken breasts.


Souper Easy Supper (ravioli soup)

I got this recipe from a friend.  It’s surprisingly good for being so simple to put together.  I had homemade chicken broth on hand, which probably made this soup even tastier.  Two notes: 1. Even though this recipe calls for ravioli, I had only used tortellini until this week.  Frankly, I’d stick with the tortellini, as it fits on the spoon better than the ravioli.  2. I usually skip the chicken altogether and figure we’re good enough with whatever protein is inside the pasta, be it cheese or prosciutto or chicken, etc.

Chicken Ravioli Souper Supper

1 TBS olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
cut into bite size pieces
2 cans Chicken Broth
2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
2 small zucchini, diced
1 package (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli
2 tsp parsley
grated Parmesan cheese

In large pot, saute chicken in hot oil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and zucchini; cover and bring to a boil. Add frozen ravioli; simmer, uncovered, about 7 minutes. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese when served.

Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Brown bananas in the fruit bowl; what to do?  Make these muffins, that’s what!  These were a perfect treat for my girls, who are fruit lovers – plus mini chocolate chips as an added bonus!  I found this recipe here: Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.  I followed the recipe exactly (except for using mini chips over regular size), yet I discovered that there wasn’t enough flour in my first batch.  I often find that whatever I’m baking needs more flour than the recipe calls for; I don’t know what that’s about.  So I wasn’t thrilled with my first batch of these muffins, as they didn’t rise enough and were a bit mushy.  Once I added more flour, my second batch was perfect.  And delicious.  I will make these again.

Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C and grease a 16 cup muffin pan or place 16 paper muffin cup liners in muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, sour cream (or plain yogurt can be used) and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas, chopped strawberries and chocolate chips.
  4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (toothpick inserted into center of muffin may be a bit moist and gooey because of using fresh chopped strawberries, but that’s alright). Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.