I can thank a certain Fanatic Mom for this recipe idea 🙂 

Hey. Gotta give credit where credit’s due!

I modified the recipe with some short cuts and a few alterations based on what was in my pantry…

But even so, this turned out super tasty!

This salad comes together in seriously no time flat.

Plus is inexpensive to make. And also clocks in at only around 200 cals per serving.

What more could you ask for?


If you can open some cans…

Drain some beans…

Give them a good rinse…

Chop some onion…

Stir stir stir…

Sprinkle some spicy red pepper flakes and savory dried basil…


Plus a splash of lemon…

And a bit of your favorite vinaigrette…

Then you’re gonna love this recipe!

A simple twist on the classic 3 bean salad, this recipe packs a bit of a punch with the spicy red pepper flakes and an unexpected !zing! with the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Perfect for any get together, inside or out, or just a lazy summer Sunday evening transitioned into leftovers for the week 😉

This salad just might be a new summer go-to for me!

Yesterday was probably one of the best beach days I’ve had in a while 🙂

Highs in the mid-80’s, a cool breeze coming off the ocean water and clear blue skies dotted with just a few puffy white clouds come afternoon… *sigh*

“Stephy” courtesy of Lil’ Sis… this was before the “for sale!” part was added. 

THAT was courtesy of this smart guy who arrived yesterday, soooooo funny Myles 😛

At least the third amigo showed up at our beach house doorstep bearing gifts! 😉

Check out the awesome gift basket that his Mom sent him down from Philly with.  The linen is covered in beautiful painted tomatoes and she got it for me because she’s knows how much I adore tomatoes!

Plus some cheese crisps, broken pretzels, taffy, wine and balsamic vinaigrette.

The balsamic has a recipe for panzanella salad on the back of the bottle that I will be making veryyyyyyyyyy soon too, I think you guys are going to love it!

Thanks Lyn! 🙂

After a full day of sand & sunshine it was time to pull together a seafood dinner — and fresh North Carolina shrimp were on the menu.

We picked these up at our favorite seafood spot, Austin Seafood Company, 2 pounds to be exact (whoa!). 

They had just been caught that morning, yummm 🙂

And since this Pesto Orzo Salad that I’ve made before is (1) super delicious (2) super easy (3) one of Lil’ Sis’s favorites, that was the side dish of choice to go with our shrimp.

Check it out, 5 ingredients (plus a few spices) and 3 easy steps.  Comes together in the time it takes to boil the pasta!

5 Ingredient, 3 Step Pesto Orzo Salad w/ Green Peas & White Beans

  • 1 box orzo pasta
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 1 jar pesto (6.5oz. from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • red pepper flakes, sea salt & black pepper to taste
  1. Boil pasta according to direction.  Add chopped onion during the last minute or two of cooking, this will cut the sharp onion flavor a bit.
  2. Stir together the drained beans, frozen peas, hot pasta and onions, and pesto.  The warm pasta will defrost the peas and also help the pesto to incorporate nicely.
  3. Add red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick plus some sea salt and black pepper to taste.


This pasta salad will serve ALOT of people, and last for a few days in the fridge, making it perfect for an easy weeknight (beach!) dinner and great to have for lunch leftovers throughout the week 🙂

To finish off the seafood dinner we cooked up some fresh green beans that were picked up during our stop at the Morris Farmer’s Market.

Still lovin’ those summer green beans!  They taste even better when you put the rest of the group to work snapping off the stemmy ends 😉

Just sayin’…

Boiled for 7 minutes in some water flavored with a split garlic clove, then seasoned with some sea salt and black pepper and a pat of fresh butter.  Mmmmm mmmm!

North Carolina shrimp seasoned with Old Bay.

Pesto Orzo Salad.

Green Beans w/ a hint of garlic and butter.

Now THIS is the stuff great vacations are made from!!!

Well along with mango vodka spritzers on the beach before noon, but that’s a whole other story now isn’t it 😉

Time to start the day, I hear another perfect forecast is on tap… no complaints here.  Make it a good one!

First off let me start by saying that this weekend was fannnnntastic! 

Ample pool time, happy hours, shopping, good food, time with friends and family… pretty much perfect if you ask me 🙂

What about you?  How was your weekend? I hope just as wonderful!

Amidst it all I also decided to get creative in the kitchen and try out a new-to-me ingredient:  the wheatberry!   read more —> here

I turned these fun lil’ chewy poppy grain berries into a delicious fig balsamic infused summer salad, laced with fresh veggies and creamy feta.

If you’ve never cooked with wheatberries before – much like myself – you’ll find that they are very easy to prepare but just require a bit of planning ahead…

No biggie 😀

Soaked overnight in some H20 and then simmered, covered, on the stovetop for an hour the next morning.

Voila!  They’re now ready to go.

I threw the cooked wheatberries into the fridge while we went and soaked up some rays out in the country at my friend’s pool this afternoon – love it here!

Remember this place?

It was 85 degrees and GORGEOUS out once the rain passed.  And after days on end of 100+ degrees, this was a much welcomed treat!

The shetland pony came out for a visit this time around too…  gotta love the country 😉 

Steph spots the animalz.

By the time we got home the wheatberries were nice n’ cool and ready to be thrown together into a quick salad using a bunch of farmers market goodies!

Fresh cherry tomatoes – $3.00 for seriously like 9,032 tomatoes.  This was probably only the half of it.

My tomato heaven 🙂

Green beans, my new favorite summer staple, aside from the above tomatoes which are always the winnah but ?fruit?vegetable?who knows?!

The freshest most flavorful sweet peppers of all time.  These banana peppers are not only super cool to look at but taste out of this world!

Then it all came together, easy as 1-2-3-?4?-?5?

1. Wheatberries, about 2-3 cups cooked and cooled (forgot to measure ooops!) 

2. Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1′ pieces then placed in the microwave for 2 minutes with a bit of water to steam just a bit.  Cool in some icy water & drain before adding to salad.

3. Chopped peppers.

4. Halved cherry tomatoes.

5. The dressing.  I used this tangerine fig balsamic to create a wonderful vinaigrette with a bit of olive oil.  Paired perfectly with the green beans!

Just whisk together 1/4 cup vinegar with 1/8 cup olive oil and pour over salad.  Season with sea salt and black pepper and give a good stir to incorporate.

Any good balsamic vinegar, slighty sweet preferably, would work great as well.

Then topped with a bit of crumbled, salty feta to serve!

Feel free to mix this in if everyone in your household enjoys cheese (ehh hmmm lil sis 😉 )

The salty feta and sweet fig balsamic vinegar were just made for each other, in my opinion! 🙂

The wheatberries were so fun too, definitely won’t be the last time these make it into the CookinFanatic kitchen!  They are a bit chewy, hearty and just all around fun to eat.

Add in the crisp, fresh green beans and peppers and this salad was just workin’ its magic!

Definitely a great meal to end a wonderful weekend!  Lucky for me, we have lots-o’-leftovers as well!  Does that mean the weekend won’t end either? *sigh* 😉

Balsamic & Feta Summer Wheatberry Salad

Serves 6-8

  • 2-3 cups cooked wheatberries
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 summer peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 tangerine fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

 See directions above. 



Have you ever cooked with wheatberries before?