Black Japonica Rice Salad


Black Japonica Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
1 cup black japonica rice
2 cups water
1 fresh squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shelled edamame
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 chopped scallions
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place rinsed rice in a large saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam for 10 minutes

In separate bowl, combine white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme and sea salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Slowly whisk in olive oil to blend.

In large bowl, drizzle vinaigrette over cooked rice and gently toss. Add in edamame, tomatoes, scallions and crumbled cheese. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.




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Garden Summer Ceviche

Garden Summer Cevice

Garden Summer Ceviche
1 pound fresh firm saltwater fish, cut into ½- inch cubes or thinly sliced
Juice of 6 limes
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ orange
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 diced avocado
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Place fresh cut fish in non-reactive mixing bowl. Add fresh pressed juices and season with sea salt. Add sliced onions, garlic and jalapeno, cover and let marinate for 15- 30 minutes in refrigerator. After “cooking” fish in citrus mixture, drain excess liquid. Add extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado. Gently mix and season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Serve in martini glass on top of fresh butter lettuce.


It was a dark and stormy night…last week. This week at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, it was a Georgia-style hot and muggy night and a perfect evening to make ceviche to accompany “Cocktails in the Garden.”  We had an opportunity to “cook” the fresh halibut and fresh snapper in citrus juice and add our favorite extras with fresh tomatoes, avocados and cilantro to finish our South American style ceviche dish. It was a cool and delicious dish and not one ounce of heat was used, except for the jalapeno that made it just the right spiciness, of course. Enjoy the fruits of summer without firing up the stove on a hot summer night. Cheers, M

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Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
3 finely sliced green onions
1 thinly sliced red pepper
1 thinly sliced cucumber
1 bunch cilantro sprigs
8-inch round rice papers
Dash of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

When vegetables are prepped, place rice paper in warm water bath for 5 seconds. Remove from water and lay rice paper on flat surface. Arrange shredded cabbages and carrots across center of rice paper. Layer slices of red pepper, sliced cucumber, green onions and cilantro sprigs lengthwise on cabbage. Add dash of sea salt and pepper. Tightly wrap up spring roll with rice paper and slice into smaller sections if desired. Serve with Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons pecan oil
2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve with spring rolls.


These spring rolls were at hit at “Cocktails in the Garden” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this week! They are full of wonderful fresh produce and the spicy peanut sauce is just dreamy. It’s all about the sauce here. There are many ways to make peanut sauce but this has a little more Georgia in it with local Pecan Oil from Oliver Farm  Delicious! The peanut sauce hits on all marks with sweet, salt and spice and it is smooth and creamy so it makes you want to keep licking the bowl. You can pour the peanut sauce on top or dip your spring rolls in it. You can even use it as a little salad dressing on all your shredded vegetables if you run out of rice paper! Spring rolls work well as a fresh appetizer or can be made into a meal if you add a little cold shrimp or a little shredded chicken. Cheers, M

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Millet and Black Bean Burger

Millet and Black Bean Burger

Millet and Black Bean Burger with Avocado Puree
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked millet
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

In a medium bowl, press black beans with a fork until lightly mashed. Add cooked millet, garlic, shallots, and extra virgin olive oil and mix together. Season with cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir the egg into mixture and then add bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Form mixture into patties.

Heat oiled sauté pan to medium. Place patties in pan and cook for about 3 minutes each side. Place black bean burger on favorite toasted slider bun or greens and top with Avocado Puree. Add finely diced fresh tomatoes to garnish.

Avocado Puree
1 clove garlic
1 ripe avocado
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

In food processor, mince garlic. Add avocado and Greek yogurt and puree until smooth. Season with cayenne, sea salt and black pepper. Blend again until smooth.


Another great hit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for “Cocktails in the Garden” last night!  A vegetarian’s delight and a meat eater’s surprise tasting a millet and black bean burger!   A grain-like seed, millet is a great addition to a plant based diet or those of you just taking a Meatless Monday.  It is full of fabulous and it’s not just for birds anymore!  It contains many nutrients and B-vitamins and even said to help calm your nerves.  Who doesn’t want a little more “chill” in their diet?  Even the Bible says it is a treasured crop.   Go make some millet.  It’s as easy as boiling water. Add it to your meatless menu and enjoy.   Cheers, M

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“Juicy Tuesday” Greenie Green Juice


“Greenie” Green Juice
3-5 large kale leaves with ribs
1 small bunch parsley with stems
1 cucumber
1 Granny Smith apple
1 lemon with peel
1 cup fresh pineapple
2-inch section fresh ginger root

Run ingredients through juice extractor.  Strain if desired and stir to enjoy.

Recipe by Chef Megan

It is “Juicy Tuesday” today and we decided to take our “greenie” poolside! This has been a great Juicy Tuesday starting out with an awesome morning yoga class before sitting poolside to catch a little Vitamin D and sipping on a big green juice. This green juice consists of kale, cucumber, parsley, green apple, pineapple, lemon and fresh ginger. It has a nice little zip to it with the ginger and is just sweet enough with a little green apple and pineapple in there. Juicy Tuesday’s are the one day a week to take a little break from regular meals and just juice for the day until dinner. When you add up all the Juicy Tuesday’s in a year, you have done a nice bit of internal cleansing without being too drastic and going days without food! Let me know what you put in YOUR green juice today! Bottoms up!

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