Grilled Fruit Salad {Fresh Fruit Bowl – Review & Giveaway}

photo 1(1)This giveaway is now closed…thank you to all who entered. Our lucky winner is Birdiebee!

Summer has officially hit! I’m not a huge fan of heat and humidity but I love the natural Vitamin D, fresh summer fruits, and of course grilling. So why not combine all three of these into one? This is a quick and delicious fruit salad that you can easily adapt to your liking and perfect for your summer cookouts (or BBQ’s as my California friends say). Each Sunday I make a meal plan for the 21 Day Fix program that I am doing and then head to the grocery store. I have two servings of fruit ever day and I love doing mixed fruit with a bit of plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey…just the right amount of sweetness. This week I picked up some champagne mangos (the little yellow ones…my favorites next to the green mangos found in the Philippines), pineapple, watermelon, and nectarines. Fruit is so naturally sweet to begin with, but when you grill them a whole new flavor profile comes out. The Greek yogurt dipping sauce is just lightly sweetened with honey, so it adds a tangyness to the sweet grilled fruit. This is sure to be a summer favorite!

The Fresh Fruit Bowl (available from Bed Bath and Beyond) is awesome for any salad…fruit or not!. It is a three-piece set (bowl, strainer bowl, and cover) which helps to keep the juices away from the fruit so they keep fresh longer. This bowl is HUGE. It is 7 quarts, so make sure you’ve got some room in that fridge of yours and load it up with lots of fresh fruit. It also offers an easy pour spout to help drain the juices that have collected at the bottom of the bowl.

Be sure to check out below how to enter for your chance to win one of these Fresh Fruit Bowls!

Grilled Fruit Salad with Greek Yogurt Dip

photo 2(1)


  • 1                                 Medium Pineapple
  • 1                                 Small Watermelon
  • 2                                Champagne Mangos
  • 2                                Nectarines
  • 1/2 cup                     Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp.                 Raw Honey
  • 1/8 tsp.                    Ground Cinnamon

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat Grill to medium-high heat
  2. Remove the rind from the watermelon and slice into “steaks”, place into fresh fruit bowl
  3. Remove the rind from the pineapple and slice to remove the core, and slice into long “steaks”, place into fresh fruit bowl
  4. Keeping the skin on the mangos, slice along either side of the pit, and place the halves into the fresh fruit bowl and discard the pit
  5. Cut nectarines in half, remove and discard the pit, and place halves into the fresh fruit bowl
  6. In a small bowl combine the plain Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon, mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use
  7. Place the fruit on the preheated grill and grill until desired doneness
  8. Remove from grill and place back into the fresh fruit bowl
  9. Serve the fruit pieces whole or cut up and top with yogurt dip and fresh mint leaf

 Want to win a Fresh Fruit Bowl?

Entry is simple…There are several different options, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry so you can be entered in the appropriate number of times!

One (1) winner will be chosen at random using Winner must live within the continental United States. Winner will also be given 48 hours after notification to respond or another winner will be chosen. Giveaway begins on June 23rd and will end on July 30th at 11:59pm EST.

Ways to Enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling me why you want to win this Fresh Fruit Bowl

2. Follow Good Cook on Facebook (leave a comment below with your FB name)

3. Follow Good Cook on Twitter (leave a comment below with your twitter handle)

4. Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook (leave a comment below with your FB name)

5. Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (leave a comment below with your twitter handle)

6. Share this post on your social media sites – you must include  #freshfruitbowl and #BBBProduct (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and be sure to share the link to that post!

Good Cook Contest Rules:

  • One prize per household for each Good Cook event. For example, if someone wins on 2 or more blogs, they – or their family members – will only receive one prize from that event.
  • If a household has won a prize in a previous Good Cook event, they are not eligible win again for 6 months.
  • If a household has won more than one prize in a previous Good Cook event (prior to the one-win-in-six-months rule), they aren’t eligible win again for 12 months.
    Good Cook Bloggers and Good Cook Kitchen Experts are not eligible to win prizes in Good Cook sponsored events, whether or not they participated in the event or not.
  • Good Cook will confirm that winners are eligible and will disqualify anyone who has won more than once.
  • Prizes ship from Good Cook and can take 8-10 weeks after the contest ends, unless otherwise stated. You must be 18 or older to win. US shipping addresses only.
  • Good Cook reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value if sufficient inventory is not available.

Check out what the other Good Cook Bloggers are up to with their Fresh Fruit Bowls:

An InLinkz Link-up

*I was provided the Fresh Fruit Bowl from Good Cook and Bed Bath and Beyond for the purpose of this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Coconut Thai Shrimp w/ Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0058This time of year is perfect for fresh seafood – especially in New England. Lately I have been consuming about a 75/35 diet…the 75 being vegetable/plant-based meals and the 35 being meat based meals. I am working towards consuming the recommended 8-12oz of fish/seafood per week according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however my budget does not always allow it, especially when trying to consume wild caught fish/seafood. Living below the poverty line, trying to make ends meet, and living on a tight budget can make things a difficult and frustrating when trying to eat healthy and buy fresh ingredients all the time. I have been living this way for quite a while now, and for the next year, that tight budget of mine just got even tighter! So here are a few little tips and tricks that I have found helpful and put to use:

  • When I find a good deal on wild caught seafood, I buy a little extra and freeze it into appropriate portion sizes.
  • Search the frozen section – some times you can find wild caught pre-frozen shrimp, tuna, or salmon – pick up a piece or two and save it for a raining day.
  • Shop local – small independent grocery stores and farmers markets usually have some great deals.
  • Eat Seasonally – the best prices for items are when they are in season, that should be no surprise.
  • Coupon Clipping – I kid you not, this has helped me so much. I do not clip coupons for items that I can not eat or that I do not use, that would be a waste of money and time. Sign up for coupons from Mambo Sprouts – usually they have lots of great gluten-free related coupons.
  • Frozen Veggies and Canned Goods – I know it is not “gourmet” but you can make one heck of a meal with these items…if buying canned goods, buy them with no or low sodium, and be sure to rinse them well. I buy my beans canned because it is quick and easy and they are full of nutrients.
  • Think of side of the box – instead of spending loads of money on meat proteins, I use a lot of alternative proteins like tofu, tempeh, and beans
  • Whole grains – they fill you up and are very versatile.

Below is a simple, yet flavorful shrimp recipe that can be prepared inside or on the grill and is perfect for this beautiful weather. You can serve it with our without the rice, in taco shells, or however you choose.

I found the Coconut Thai Seasoning at The Spice and Tea Exchange in Newport…I have no idea how I never realized this little gem was so close to me, but it was probably a good thing for me (not them) that I didn’t! I walked into the shop and instantly was in heaven. It’s a small shop, packed with spices, teas, salts, etc. The staff was very helpful and friendly as well, especially when helping me with gluten-free blend options. I picked up a few different spice blends but had to try the Coconut Thai one first.

Coconut Thai Shrimp with Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0061Coconut Thai Shrimp – Ingredients

  • Shrimp                                                         1/2 pound
  • Coconut Thai Seasoning                         2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil                                                       1 teaspoon

Mango Salsa – Ingredients

  • Lime Juice                                                  2 tablespoons
  • Lime Zest                                                    1 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                               1/4 teaspoon
  • Cayenne Pepper                                       1/8 teaspoon
  • Mango                                                         1 – fine dice
  • Red Onion                                                  2-3 tablespoons, fine dice
  • Avocado                                                      1 – fine dice
  • Bell Pepper, Orange,Yellow, etc.            1/4 cup, fine dice

Spinach Lime Rice – Ingredients

  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice                        1 cup – uncooked
  • Water or stock                                             2 cups
  • Spinach, Baby                                             1 1/2 cups
  • Lime Zest                                                     1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro                                                         1 tablespoon, fine chop

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel and devein shrimp
  2. Mango Avocado Salsa – In a medium bowl add lime juice, lime zest, salt, and cayenne pepper – mix well.
  3. Add diced mango, red onion, avocado, and bell pepper, mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  5. Coconut Thai Shrimp – In a medium bowl add, Coconut Thai Seasoning and Olive oil, mix well
  6. Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly, set aside in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  7. Spinach Lime Rice – In a small stock pot bring two cups of water or stock to a boil and add rice. Stir and cook until done (usually about 15-20 minutes depending on rice)
  8. During the last two minutes of cooking, stir in spinach and stir to wilt the spinach leaves. Set aside.
  9. Right before serving add lime zest and freshly chopped cilantro into the spinach rice and toss to evenly incorporate.
  10. To cook the shrimp – either heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook 2-4 minutes per side or place on a hot grill for the same amount of time.
  11. Serve with spinach lime rice, and mango salsa – top with fresh cilantro and lime wedges if desired.




Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

I really wanted to try my hand at making homemade ice cream so I asked my stepmummy if I could borrow her ice cream maker…thankfully she said yes! Keeping Bryan in mind (even though he was gone all summer) I thought I would try making some coconut milk ice cream, I figured I should experiment and do some taste testing before I make some for him…makes sense right? My neighbor Lisa has become my taste taster in Bryans absence. Lisa rather enjoyed the recipe below and would probably have eaten the entire container that night. I told her I will make her another batch soon.

This is a pretty simple and straight forward recipe. You can feel free to change the add-ins to what ever you would like. I just went with what I had on hand…shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and almonds. This is pretty darn delicious I must say and was very excited about how it turned out. Not too shabby for my fist try! I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance in the kitchen.

Can’t wait to experiment some more. I’m thinking the next attempt with be somewhat tropical inspired.

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

2 cans (14.5 oz each) of Coconut Milk (not light!) – this is usually found in Asian markets or at your grocery store in the international isle

3/4 cup cocoa powder – sifted to remove any lumps

1/2-3/4 cup of sugar – I used a combination of honey and sucanat, both from Wholesome Sweeteners 

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

This will yield about 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream – if your ice cream maker is smaller just adjust the ingredients to fit your needs.

  • Always freezer the bowl of your ice cream maker in advance.
  • I like to keep my coconut milk in the refrigerator which speeds up the process a bit. If you have room temp coconut milk be sure to chill the mixture for one hour before adding it to your ice cream maker.
  • In a large bowl mix together the cocoa powder, sugar (honey, sugar, agave, which ever you use), salt, and corn starch.
  • Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract – mix well until all lumps/solids are dissolved. As stated above if you are using room temperature coconut milk, be sure to pop this in the fridge for one hour before proceeding.
  • Please read your ice cream makers instructions, as each can be different for churning and freezing your ice cream. Some ice cream makers suggest running it for 20 minutes and others that I have read suggest 30 minutes. I went by sight to achieve the consistency that I was looking for – this was about 25 minutes.
  • When you have about five minutes left in the churning process add in your chopped almonds and toasted coconuts.
  • For a soft serve consistency enjoy right away or place in an air tight container and freeze. If you do not eat it right away and choose to freeze it, be sure to remove the container about 10 minutes or so before serving. Lisa and I tried it both ways and they were both delicious!
  • Top with toasted coconut and some finely chopped almonds! Enjoy

Again, the chopped almonds and toasted coconut are just suggestions, please feel free to change this up!

Grilled Tilapia with Oranges

This recipe is actually from my dad.  So all the credit for this delicious dish goes to him. Last weekend I spent it up at my dads house planting our garden and doing some fly fishing. He found a great spot in Connecticut for catch and release fly fishing only. It was beautiful and peaceful and the best part I could to finally test out my beautiful custom 9 foot 4 weight green fly rod that he built for me (I’m in the process of setting up a blog for him to showcase his beautiful work. Check it out HERE it is a work in progress.)

I love being able to spend time with my dad, something that I missed for the five years that I lived in California. He is one of my best friends and we always have a great time together. Last year we got into canning and this summer we plan to put up as many jars of pickles that we possibly can (no pun intended!), and also try our hand at canning sauce. Another thing we love to do together is cook…we are self-proclaimed foodies. Last Saturday we had his boss Bobby over who helped till our garden for us, so in return dad and I cooked up a pretty scrumptious dinner of molasses brined pork chops, salt potatoes, and Cesar salad = yummm (recipe to follow soon). The next day we headed to the river for some fly fishing and after a long day on the river we decided on a light, quick, and delicious dinner of Grilled Tilapia with Oranges.

This recipe uses two…maybe three ingredients, no lie. I even asked my dad several times to make sure because the flavor was so good. It is perfect for a summer day, light and refreshing. For sides you could serve just about anything you wanted; steamed or grilled vegetables, rice, quinoa, etc. I’m actually making this tonight and serving it with some steamed edamame.

Grilled Tilapia with Oranges

4 oz of Tilapia per person

1 large orange sliced about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick

Kosher salt – to taste if desired

Aluminum foil

Heat grill to medium heat.

Place each fillet of Tilapia in aluminum foil, place two – three slices of orange on the fish and if you would like to add salt, be sure to season the fish and the oranges a little – this is optional, Dad made it with no salt and it was quite flavorful.

Seal foil package tightly and grill with the orange side down first. This helps release the juices from the orange, steam the fish and infused the flavor into the fish.

Cook for three minutes, flip carefully and repeat on the other side. This time may differ based on the thickness of your fillets.

Remove from grill, let packets sit for two minutes, cut open and serve with side(s) of you choice.

Thanks dad for this delicious dinner and for letting me share it on here.

Integrale Rice Risotto Challenge – Savory Lobster Risotto

VOTE HERE for my Sauvignon Blanc and Lobster Risotto

Last month I saw a post on twitter from regarding the Interale Rice Risotto Challenge and immediately I went to their site and entered to be part of this great event.  I did this for a few reasons, first school was coming to a close and I thought it would be fun to participate in an online food competition and second, I LOVE risotto. That may be because I’m Italian or that it is gluten-free, or that I just love risotto for all its creamy goodness. Risotto to me is a blank canvas, you can do so much to it and be as creative as you wish.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy risotto is the recipe below, it is simple yet decadent and perfect on a warm summer day served with a simple salad of mixed greens and a light vinaigrette and a chilled glass of Bogle Sauvignon Blanc (which is used to make the risotto!). The Bogle Sauvignon Blanc is absolutely perfect in this risotto – it adds just the right flavor to this dish.

I’ve made risotto countless times and with several different brands of rice, and I’ll be honest, I have my favorites. Although I think it is the method more than the rice however, the Integrale rice is fantastic. I loved the texture you get with this rice. I always love finding new products to try, I am very thankful to both Integrale and MarxFoods for this opportunity to try this rice and be part of this event.

I had read on another blog that Integrale Rice was “whole wheat” and at first I had a bit of a challenge trying to figure out if that was true or not seeing as the entire package is in Italian. Thankfully there is google translate🙂 This is rice, not made from whole wheat grains, and the package states: ” Il Riso Non Ha Glutine Ed E Quindi L’Alimento Ideale Per I Celiaci” which translates to: “Rice has no gluten and is therefore the ideal food for Celiacs” I love when companies put gluten-free statements on their products.

Here is a little bit about Integrale Rice from the MarxFoods website:

Integrale rice is an Italian brown risotto rice. Like all risotto rice varieties, slow cooking Integrale Rice on the stove top with multiple infusions of stock causes it to absorb the stock’s flavor and release starch into the pan, thickening the remaining stock into an incredibly delicious sauce.

However, because the outer bran is left on, the finished risotto has a nuttier brown rice flavor, distinct grains, and a little more chew to its finished texture. The bran also includes additional nutrients not found in white risotto rice.

Sauvignon Blanc and Lobster Risotto

2 oz butter – unsalted

2 oz shallots – minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 1/2 cups Integrale Rice

3 cups white chicken stock or lobster stock

1 cup Bogle Sauvignon Blanc

2 oz Parmesan cheese – grated

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 – 1-1 1/4 pound lobsters

Salt and Pepper – to taste

Method of Preparation

Steam two lobsters until meat is cooked – about 7-8 minutes. Cool, remove meat from tail and claws, chop and set aside. Save the shells to make additional stock.

Heat stock over medium heat and keep warm.

In a large straight sided skillet add butter and melt over medium heat.

Add in shallots and garlic, saute until translucent.

Add Rice and stir until well coated and are toasted slightly  – you will smell a light nutty aroma.

Add the Bogle Sauvignon Blanc and stir until almost absorbed.

Slowly add the warm stock one ladle at a time and stir until almost absorbed.

Continue this process of adding stock in small quantities and stirring continuously until the liquid is absorbed, until the desired texture is achieved (rice should retain a touch of firmness and there should be a creamy, but not mushy consistency). You may not use all of the stock!

Add the pieces of lobster and stir to incorporate.

Add the grated cheese.

Add heavy cream, stir and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

You should give this rice a try!

Please take a second and vote for me (!!Voting starts on 5/30 and ends on 6/1

I hope you give this recipe a try and come back and share your thoughts.

(I was provided a box of Integral Rice free of charge from to try and review)