Brown Rice Bowl with Grilled Chicken, Black Beans, Avocado and more…

This is one of our staple recipes. The ingredients can vary due to preference and what you have on hand, also what is fresh! It can be made with or without meat (chicken, steak, shrimp or just black beans!) – we’ve made it both with chicken and without and it was equally delicious!

Click HERE to print the recipe minus all my words…



1 package Trader Joe’s Brown Rice (freezer), it’s just rice, but you microwave it so it cooks quickly, but you can always use cooked brown rice!

1 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast (we usually split one for this meal)

1 carton or can Black Beans (use however much you like), drained and rinsed

Avocado, diced (or you can use fresh guacamole)

Fresh Salsa (or you can cut up tomatoes, onion, a little garlic, lime juice)

Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded

Blue Corn Chips (or any tortilla chips)

Lime wedges


Cook the protein (i.e. we grill the chicken with olive oil, or you could sauté shrimp, etc.)

Cook the brown rice according to package directions.

Put black beans in a small pan and heat on stove or in glass dish in microwave, just until hot.

Set up the diced avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa (we bought Heirloom Tomato Salsa from Whole Foods, it was out of this world!)…


Spoon some rice into your bowl (it can look like not much and end up being a lot!)…

Add cheese, Black Beans, Avocado and Salsa. Squeeze lime over the top (owie, this is so good!)… top with a few tortilla chips.

Out. Of. This. World, right?

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Monhegan Potato Salad (no mayo!) – BEST EVER!

Monhegan Potato Salad -

This is the freshest, tastiest, most wonderful potato salad in the entire world! Use fresh tomatoes when possible – these were a “tomato medley” from Whole Foods…

I call it “Monhegan” Potato Salad, because that’s where I was the first time I tasted potato salad minus mayo AND the freshest ingredients imaginable! This recipe is inspired by a true friend, [Thank you Jenn :)] She went to the Farmer’s Market that day, bought the best veggies and whipped this up (along with LOBSTER!)… what a treat!

This is how I remember it, and when I tasted it, whew! It was amazing! This is a true favorite! I will never make potato salad with mayo again! I was never even big on mayo in the first place, but this… it’s an entirely different beast!

Click HERE to print the recipe minus all the blah, blah, blah…

Monhegan Potato Salad |

Monhegan Potato Salad – Pretty Bowl from West Elm, Charleston, SC



2 Red potatoes (more if they are small)

Onion (sweet or red, whatever you like), chopped or minced

Grape or cherry tomatoes – good sweet ones! I used 1/2 container… cut in half or thirds

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I used about 8-9 quick swirls around the bowl, you can always add more.

Salt, Pepper, Dill (I use a lot of dill)

Arugula, Kale or Spinach chopped (fresh) – or whatever green(s) you like!


You can boil your potatoes until you they are barely tender when you pierce them with a fork, or you can do what I did (I’m always in a hurry). I took 2 red potatoes and washed them, then cut into bite size pieces. I spread on a plate and covered with another plate, and I (shhhhhh!) MICROWAVED THEM! (Truly, I am not a microwave cook, but needed to whip this up in the time it takes a hamburger to come off the grill, so boiling wasn’t an option, however, if you can plan ahead…).

In a large bowl, add the olive oil, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper and dill. Mix it together and then add the potatoes (they can still be warm). Stir to coat.

Chop some arugula or spinach, however much you like, and add that to the bowl, tossing to coat.

Taste and season if necessary.

I’m making this again in a few minutes! Too good for words!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

To roast, saute, bake and PHOTOGRAPH!

Whole Foods |

Produce Aisle – Whole Foods, Mount Pleasant, SC

What a stunning display of color, don’t you agree? Just look at these beets. I always thought beets tasted like dirt, I was so wrong. If you roast them, they have a sweetness to them that you will not believe!  Give it a whirl!

You can roast them whole (scrub them good, cut off any leaves, but don’t peel). Then preheat oven to 375 F. Coat them with olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast 45-60 minutes (or until done). Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Peel and slice into 1/4″-inch thick slices. Recipe: Bobbie Flay/Food Network

Ina Garten she peels, slices and roasts and then tops with orange juice, GOOGLE it! You won’t believe the wonderful combinations!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Recipe for Banana Nut Bread with Chocolate Chips – No Butter/Oil or Sugar!


This recipe is a treasure. Print it. Mark it so you don’t lose it. It’s a keeper forever and ever! Can you imagine a banana bread that is moist, sweet and decadent, all without the use of butter, oil or sugar?! I know, I was hesitant, but I thought… hmmm, give it a whirl, WHAT IF IT’S GOOD?

It. Is.

I made half with chocolate chips, because I wasn’t sure how chocolate chips would taste in banana bread… Well… DUH! FABULOUS!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (thank you Pinterest!) – it comes from a blog called – that link will take you to the recipe, but check out the recipes on their blog… good stuff!

Instead of sugar, this recipe uses maple syrup, and not much, only 1/4 cup! I used White Wheat Flour and I couldn’t tell a difference. You can substitute white wheat flour 1:1 with all purpose flour (unlike regular whole wheat flour). I did not use the brown sugar mentioned in the regular recipe (and the original recipe mentions that you don’t have to use it). If your banana’s are sweet and freckled :) then you won’t need it!

Click HERE to print the recipe below… Images below… | barbara stroud

Here is the chocolate chip side :) Ok… Confession: I added too many. I got crazy with the Whole Foods 365 Brand Chocolate Chunks. They are amazing! Next time I will add a handful for 1/2 loaf. Not that this is bad, hee hee… it’s amazing!


Here is Fred’s half… plain (well, I added walnuts). This has a wonderful taste and is perfect packed into a lunch. It helps hold you a while! It’s perfect alongside a green smoothie!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Salad with grilled chicken, quinoa, avocado and more! | barbara stroud

Healthy tip: Add a little (cooked) quinoa to your salad! It’s delicious!

What I did:

I cooked the quinoa (according to package directions) ahead of time and put it in a glass container in the refrigerator.

Then I made the salad while Fred grilled boneless/skinless chicken breasts coated in olive oil and pepper. He grilled them perfectly!

I made a salad with Organic Girls Mache Blend, (a mixture of mâche rosettes, baby red chard, baby green chard, tango), then added chopped carrots, green onion, radishes, tomato, avocado, cucumber.

I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and added to the top, along with some feta, then drizzled some extra virgin olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. TADA! Dinner is ready!

It was amazingly fresh and delicious – the texture of the quinoa added something special.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Nachos Recipe: An easy and decidedly decadent quick dinner (while being heathy at the same time!)…

Healthier nachos |

We were trying to come up with something for dinner. Something different. We all get stuck in a rut of making the same thing. We wanted fresh, tasty, healthy, and fast!

I threw these together, put the pan under the broiler until the cheese melted and then added the tomato mixture and fresh avocado – This was a roll your eyes back in your head kind of dinner :)

Here’s what I did – Click HERE to print:

N A C H O   M A M A ‘ S  N A C H O S – Healthier version

i n g r e d i e n t s 

Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Blue Corn Chips (or whatever brand you like)

Container of grape tomatoes, sliced thin

Onion, sliced thin (however much you like)

Lime, wedge, squeezed

1 Avocado, peeled, de-seeded and cut into small chunks – Wait to do this until you need it.

1 box of 365 (Whole Foods) brand Black Beans, rinsed, and lightly patted dry – use however much you like  I used 1/2 box.

365 (Whole Foods) brand Organic Pepper Jack Cheese, grated (however much you like). I could have used more but was trying to be “good”… and it was delicious!

Jalopeno’s, diced (or buy the diced ones in a jar near pickle section at grocery store)… I didn’t have these, but will use next time!

Cilantro, chopped (didn’t have it this time, but will next time)…

d i r e c t i o n s

Mix the chopped grape tomatoes and diced/minced onion. Then squeeze the wedge of lime over. Stir to mix the flavors. Can add cilantro and jalepenos if you like.

I used a rectangular metal roasting pan, but use whatever you’ve got. Spread the chips out evenly. Top with black beans and grated cheese. But under broiler until cheese melts (and if you use more cheese than I did, wait until it starts to get a bit bubbly) – be sure to WATCH IT! It never takes long under a broiler, sometimes just a minute or two…

When it comes out of the oven, top with the tomato salsa mixture, and the fresh avocado. You can also have a side of Greek yogurt, but I kept it simple.

This will make your tastebuds smile… seriously!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Blueberry Cobbler recipe… The PERFECT, quick and easy to make (one bowl) dessert!


Blueberry Cobbler. A sign that summer has arrived! Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and this is the perfect recipe to showcase them in all their juiciness! A small scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this dessert absolute perfection!

I had a blog a few years ago ALMOST DAILY PICS where I would post photos a few days a week. I have re-blogged that post below… Enjoy, I know we are! :)

From August 2010:

Today, I got up, made coffee and was reading the local paper… There was a recipe for Blueberry Cobbler… hmmm, that sure sounded good, thinking about making it… maybe… after all, blueberries are a healthfood, right??

Running errands with the usual stop at Whole Foods. What’s on sale? BLUEBERRIES… 2lbs of Michigan blueberries for $5.99. Whhhaaaaaaaaaat???!!! Ok, so it’s a sign, MAKE THE COBBLER! Got home and forgot to buy self rising flour, so (thanks to Google) that was easily remedied… here’s the recipe from Charleston’s Post & Courier if you are interested (I included the substitution to use if you don’t have self-rising flour). This was so quick and easy to make and absolutely sinful!

Click HERE to print the recipe below (minus all the words above)… | barbara stroud

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Green Smoothie – Recipes! | barbara stroud | Barbara Stroud

Smoothies are an amazing way to get blasts of nutrition with great taste, and in this heat, they really help you cool down! They’re so quick to throw together, and you really can’t go wrong!

For those of you who don’t like “green”… I read where if you keep the ratio at 60% fruit to 40% greens you cannot taste them. I can attest to that… my husband said he would make a smoothie… I was rushing around to get ready and I was thinking… ahhhh, he won’t add spinach! But I didn’t say anything… he handed it to me, and I guzzled it down without even really seeing it (we were in the midst of talking about something else), I was almost done when I noticed his glass was GREEN! What?! I swear I thought it was his regular banana smoothie (which is awesome  in itself)! No evidence of anything “green” as my sister would say :)

Here are a few to get you started:

Fred’s Spinach Banana Smoothie

2 BIG handfuls baby spinach

2 cups unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk

2 frozen bananas

Ice to the consistency you like

Start out by blending the spinach and almond milk until the spinach is liquified. Then add the frozen bananas and a few ice cubes to get it to the consistency that you like.

Uh huh! I KNEW you would like it! You don’t even taste the spinach do you?? Amazing!

Another good recipe from Simple Green Smoothie’s, I bought the large container of organic baby spinach, and large bags of frozen fruit (make sure it’s unsweetened!) from Costco:

Simple Green Smoothie

2 cups spinach

2 cups water, coconut water (we use almond milk sometimes), etc.

1 cup frozen pineapple chunks (unsweet!)

1 cup mango chunks

Same process as above, first blend water/spinach until smooth, then add frozen fruit (or fresh + ice cubes).

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A healthy dinner idea… quick too!

Healthy Dinner Idea

Do you ever have trouble coming up with something to make for dinner? Are you running short on time, but still want something healthy and fresh. POOF! Here’s an idea, and you can customize it how you like…

Boneless/skinless chicken, coat in olive oil and toss it on the grill… yum!

Skewers with sliced (thick) zucchini, mushrooms, and sweet onion. Brushed with olive oil, tiny bit of sea salt and pepper, set on the grill (upper rack).

Corn on the cob (I heat a large pan with about 1/2″ of water, once it comes to a boil, put the corn in, and COVER, cook only a few minutes and it’ll be done)!

Slice a tomato and some fresh basil, drizzle with a wee bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

To switch things up you could use BBQ Sauce on the chicken (homemade is so much tastier), or Tzatziki sauce, or a nice pineapple/mango salsa? Switch up the veggies, add some fresh mozzarella to the tomato and make it a caprese salad. Oh, the possibilities with a simple dinner!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Excited for the challenge…

Givin' it a try...

Givin’ it a try…

Fred and I signed up to do the 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge. This is going to be big fun. Get healthier and have more energy, woohoo! Started with our own concoction this morning… hmmm, arugula I knew would be a bit weird and it was, but it was doable. They say if you keep to 60% fruit/40% veggies, you won’t taste the “green” – arugula is kind of hard to miss… Spinach next time!

Check out the Beginner’s Luck recipe ( – sounds tasty! The next 30-day challenge begins July 1, 2015!

Catch you back here tomorrow!