Southwestern Cole Slaw with Avocado Dressing and Pepitas

A zesty cole slaw fully packed with southwest flavors! Shredded cabbage, black beans, corn, red onion, tomatoes (jalapeno optional) and toasted pepitas dressed with an avocado, lime and cilantro dressing.

Cool, crunchy, creamy and refreshing goodness…. 

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Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

A fresh, thick and creamy buttermilk avocado dressing you can season any way your little heart desires! Create a flavor that suits your taste by using fresh lemon or lime and any mix of fresh herbs you like.

For a Tex-Mex spin I infused this with lime and cilantro. Then I used it to dress chicken salad with black olives, red onion, tomatoes, baby spinach and almonds…. 

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Light Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

Green Goddess is an earthy, herb-packed dressing with a tangy bite to it. The dressing is a delight drizzled over salads, chicken, fish or as a dip for crudites.

For this lighter version I swapped out the usual, fatty base of mayonnaise for light sour cream (Greek yogurt works too). The sour cream is combined with buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon, scallions, anchovies, garlic and a trio of fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon and thyme.

With this powerhouse of flavors, the mayonnaise doesn’t stand a chance of being missed! The dressing doesn’t miss a beat, remaining rich and creamy…. 

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Asian Spinach Salad with Salmon and Edamame

This Asian Salad with spinach, edamame, salmon, scallions and toasted sesame seeds is one of the best I’ve made all summer. The star of the show is the soy and ginger dressing. I could drink it up! And in fact, did.  The little puddle that settled on the bottom of the bowl. I couldn’t resist.… 

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Feta and Olive Chicken Rollatini with Israeli Couscous Salad and Ladolemono

Feta and Olive Chicken Rollatini with Israeli Couscous and Ladolomono

This is a Greek inspired recipe for Chicken Rollatini stuffed with Feta cheese and olives. It’s served over a warm Israeli couscous tossed with onion, garlic, grape tomatoes, cucumber and more olives. A lemon and oil dressing called Ladolemono ties them together and brightens up the entire dish.

The dish is a layering of Greek flavors that begins with the chicken. It is marinated in lemon, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and dried spices like oregano and thyme resulting in incredibly tender and moist chicken. You can use green or black olives or a mixture of the two in both the filling and the couscous. You can also replace the couscous with rice if you like. Cook it through before tossing with the vegetables.

This satisfied my huge craving for Greek flavors! It was a mingling of intensity with every taste sensation you can imagine. A mix of briny olives, a sharp bite from the salty feta, tangy tartness from the lemon, the crisp bite of the tomato and cucumber combined with the soft, pearly couscous and succulent chicken. Flavors gone wild.

Feta and Olive Chicken Rollatini with Israeli Couscous and Ladolemono

Feta and Olive Chicken Rollatini with Israeli Couscous Salad 
(by Reeni)

1 Lemon, juiced
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 pound Chicken Cutlets, (4)

Ladolemono (adapted from How to Roast a Lamb)
1/4 cup Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Oregano
Kosher or Sea salt and Fresh Black Pepper
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

For Chicken Filling
4 – 5 ounces Feta
heaping 1/2 cup chopped Olives, green and/or black, chopped

1 small Onion, diced
Olive oil for sauteing
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 + 1/2 cup Israeli Couscous
1/2 cup Grape tomatoes, sliced in thirds
1/2 cup Cucumber, diced
1/2 cup Olives, green and/or black, chopped
1/3 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1. Early in the day or a few hours before cooking whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a large shallow dish. Add the chicken and coat well on both sides. Refrigerate.

2. To make the ladolemono combine lemon juice, mustard, oregano, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend and drizzle in olive oil. Refrigerate. It will separate so whisk well before serving.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan. To make the filling use a fork to mash the feta cheese. Add the olives and gently mash them into the mixture, don’t completely mash them just incorporate them into the feta. Take a chicken cutlet and using 1/4 of the mixture spread it from one end to the middle of the cutlet. Roll up and hold together with toothpicks. Repeat with the rest of the cutlets. Bake for about 20 minutes depending on the size of the cutlets(165-174 degrees).

4. Meanwhile in a large skillet saute onion in 2-3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat until tender and translucent. Add garlic, saute until fragrant. Add couscous and more oil if needed. Saute couscous for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer slowly for 10-12 minutes until water is absorbed. Turn off heat. Stir in tomatoes, cucumber and olives. Put lid back on and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve chicken over the couscous drizzled generously with ladolemono.

Printable Recipe

Feta and Olive Chicken Rollatini with Israeli Couscous and Ladolemono

Be sure to check out the new Burger Club Challenge: Bobby Flay!


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Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

A zesty recipe for cold rice salad packed with Southwestern flavors like green chiles, avocado, corn, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lightly dressed with lemon and olive oil. The bright and fresh flavors make it the perfect accompaniment to anything grilled and it is perfect for a pot-luck, picnic or barbecue.

Rice salad may sound a little strange to you if you’ve never eaten it before. As it did to me. But I loved it and I’m certain you will too. The rice was soft and tender and completely delicious cold. An ideal dish for lunch or dinner on a sweltering summer day. To elevate it from a side dish to a main dish simply add protein like cooked shrimp or chicken. The leftovers make a great lunch-time treat the next day. 

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad
(loosely adapted from Bon Appetit)
(Makes 8 side dish servings)

1 cup long-grain Rice (I use Brown Basmati)
1 Avocado, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
4.5 ounces diced Green Chilies
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in a colander with cold water in a colander. Cook according to package directions. Rinse rice again after cooking to cool it down. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile make dressing by whisking lemon and oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. In a large mixing bowl toss rice with the rest of the ingredients. Pour dressing over top and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

Printable Recipe

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

This is going to my July Side Dish Showdown. Keep those side dishes coming for  – add your links here and be sure to look over the guidelines as I’ve made some small changes.

And don’t forget to send me your favorite burger (beef, turkey, chicken, bean, veggie or fish) recipes for the Burger Free For All!

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