Category Archives: summer

Lemon chicken and feta rice

I’m back too, and, my excuse was that I had a baby and I was lucky to get dinner on the table never mind write about it. But we’re settled in and I’m in on the rice theme. I made this for a pot luck dinner tonight. I wanted something quick that didn’t require a long cook because it’s too hot out for that. Oh, and it had to be gluten free.

My ” inspiration” was the package of feta that’s been sitting in my fridge since my last trip to Trader Joe’s and the thin sliced chicken breasts on sale.

For the chicken you’ll need:

  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
  • coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, pounded or sliced thin

For the rice, you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup rice (I used a wild rice blend)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 lb. spinach or one big bunch
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 4-5 oz. feta cheese

Mix the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, parsley and garlic in a container you can marinate in. Pepper the chicken, toss in the marinade and let sit for about an hour. 

While chicken is marinating, cook the rice. Set aside in a serving bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet and add the chicken (pour extra marinade into the pan). Cook for about 5 minutes; flip. Cook until both sides are slightly browned and chicken is cooked through. I did this in two batches. 

Remove chicken to a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet. Add spinach to the pan and cook until wilted. Put the spinach in the bowl with the rice. Pour the pan juices and any juices that have accumulated on the chicken plate in with the rice and spinach. Add the additional lemon juice and feta. Mix it all together.

Serve the chicken over the rice.

We ate this warm, but I think it will be good cold too—I’ll let you know.

You could make a vegetarian version of this that would probably be tasty, but I think the garlicy chickeny flavor really added a lot to the rice.


Tomato-Peach Salsa

It’s peach season!

My canning friend said she’d get a box of utility peaches from the local orchard, and we started to list what we’d make: peach-raspberry jam, peach-ginger jam, peach salsa. I envisioned a jar of golden, spicy goodness. Then she said she wanted to use tomatoes in it. I wasn’t convinced, but I am now. I’m totally hooked.

Tomato Peach Salsa

makes about 12 pints
  • 3 c. chopped onion
  • 12 c. peeled, chopped tomatoes
  • 8 c. peeled, pitted, diced white peaches
  • 4 c. diced bell peppers (mix of red and green)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 8 Thai chilis, minced
  • 6 c. cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sterilize 12 pint jars, bands, and lids.
  2. While that’s happening, peel the tomatoes and chop them roughly. Drain off a bunch of the excess juice. Put the tomatoes in a large stock pot. Add the chopped onion, the peeled, diced peaches and the diced bell peppers.
  3. Mince the hot peppers and garlic. (I like to use a mini food processor for this.) Leave the seeds in for a salsa with a nice heat to it. Combine the hots and garlic with the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cider vinegar and mix well.
  5. Bring the salsa to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Pour into hot sterilized jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace.
  7. Screw on caps and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit for 10 minutes before removing from water bath.

We had just enough to taste after we filled all the jars. I came home with 6 jars, and I don’t think they’ll last long.

Ricotta Quiche, or The Z Word Part 1

Zucchini is notorious for being overabundant. There are stories of people desperate to get rid of them, dropping them off on neighbors steps, abandoning them by the side of the road. For years I’ve heard these stories and wondered “Who are these people?,” because squash borers and squash bugs destroy our plants most years before we get tired of zucchini. Not this year.

With a veggie bin in the fridge full of zukes, I’ve been looking for new things to sneak them into. A few weeks ago a friend served me ricotta pie from the Moosewood Cookbook and I found it quite yummy.

With a couple of modifications (no crust, tapioca flour), it’s gluten free. And though I call it ricotta quiche, it’s not really eggy, a plus for non-egg lovers.

It would work with a number of vegetables, but right now I’m filling it up with zucchini.

Ricotta Quiche with Zucchini

  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in thin rounds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped basil
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose or tapioca flour
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • paprika
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Saute the onion in a little olive oil. Add the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until both are soft, but not browned. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan and cheddar cheeses, flour, and herbs together. (I used tapioca only to make it gluten-free. If that doesn’t matter, regular flour works just fine.)
  4. Add the zucchini and onion and mix well.
  5. Spread the mixture into a 10-inch pie plate.
  6. Cover with cream cheese and sprinkle top liberally with paprika.
  7. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I found this worked well at a number of temperatures. We had it about 45 minutes after it was done and it was quite good. I’ve had it cold from the fridge, also good, but room temp or above is probably best.

Black bean mango salsa

I had two mangos sitting on my counter, tons of cilantro in my garden, and a vision of mango salsa with grilled pork. I have a mango salsa recipe, but I wanted to do something with black beans (I need protein lately and didn’t have time to grill that pork).

This was pretty quick, very easy, and yummy.

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 diced mango
1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 small onion, finely chopped (I would have used scallions, but I didn’t have any)
1 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lime
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix it all together in a bowl and let sit for at least an hour.

It was a side/condiment for 6 adults at our potluck dinner with enough for two left over for lunch.

I also made shrimp in garlic, lime, chili butter, but I know you pass on the shrimp. It was yummy though.