Black Bean Salsa from our friend A.F.

Black Bean Salsa



1 16 ounce bag frozen sweet corn, thawed to room temperature and drained

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, cooked until tender and drained)

1 large (or 2 small) white onion, finely chopped

one 10-ounce package cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped

leaves from 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

3 large jalapeño peppers, minced (Remove seeds from 1 or 2 of the peppers before chopping to control the spiciness; the “heat” is in the ribs and seeds.)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

salt to taste (start with about 3/4 tsp)

Heat the butter over high heat in a large sauté pan until foamy. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is browned and very fragrant.

Place corn in a very large mixing bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Feel free to add a little cumin or a minced garlic clove or a little Adobo seasoning or chili powder, if that suits your taste. Of course, you can always adjust the proportions if you prefer less onion, more
tomato, etc.

Serve with tortilla chips (these are fun and hold lots of chunky salsa) or use
in quesadillas, soft tacos or nachos.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch, fit for a large BBQ or potluck, but it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days or the quantities are easy to adjust, if you’d prefer to make a smaller batch.



Puy Lentil Galettes

Recipe here.

Yum.  Loved these.  A definite make-again.  I acknowledge that the way my family (especially my daughter and I) feels about lentils may not be the norm, but we love them and can’t get enough.  They are delicious (especially the French du Puy variety) and peppery and filling and wholesome and healthy and hearty.  This is a fantastic recipe to incorporate them.

Awesome Salad (Arugula, Roasted Tomato, Gigante Bean, Sauteed Zucchini and Arugula)

Yum Yum Yum.

This is a concoction inspired by a salad that I had once at the Nordstrom Cafe.

Basically, just layer slow-roasted tomatoes (I made huge batches of these and keep them in ziploc bags in the freezer – they thaw in seconds and are great in salads, pastas, on bruschetta, etc.), sauteed zucchini, and gigante beans (I won’t tell if you substitute canned cannellini beans) on a bed of baby arugula.  Top with slivers of fresh basil and a little balsamic vinaigrette, if you’d like.  Shaved Parmesan (use a potato peeler) or leftover slices of steak would also be fantastic.  Serve with sliced, warm ciabatta bread.  Mmmm…wish I had some of this right now.

Vegetarian without the steak, vegan without the cheese (as shown).  Gluten-free without the bread, or with GF bread.

Who Needs Lettuce? Greek Farro Salad

Greek Farro Salad

3/4 cup farro, cooked according to package directions, drained, rinsed and set aside to cool

1 and 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and slice into bite-sized half-moons

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved

4 ounces fresh feta cheese, cut into large dice

1 batch of my friend Arnie’s Greek salad dressing

Gently toss all ingredients together until lightly coated with dressing.  You may not need ALL of the dressing, so reserve a few tablespoonfuls  and adjust as needed.

Warm Farro Salad with Braised Radishes

Recipe here.

This was quite delicious.  Unusual, and not like anything I’ve had before, but light and very flavorful.  The braised radishes were pleasantly both sweet and tangy.  I sauteed the pancetta in a separate pan and then cooked the radishes in olive oil, rather than the bacon pan, so that Vegetarian Girl could have hers with the pancetta.  We just sprinkled the cooked, chopped pancetta on top of ours at the very end.  I served this with some roasted brussel sprouts (also adapted for Vegetarian Girl, but with pancetta added for us.)  Yes, we went a bit crazy with the pancetta this meal…I would probably pick a different green veggie to serve with this next time, but we all love roasted sprouts, so I just went for it!

Adobo Grilled Chicken, Black Bean & Quinoa Salad and a Crunchy Roasted Corn repeat

YUM!  This was SUCH a delicious meal.  I had planned on only making the black bean & quinoa salad and grilled chicken, but The Boy was with me at the supermarket and saw corn on the cob and requested this corn, which he loves.  It sort “went with” the meal, so I acquiesced.

Black bean and quinoa salad recipe here.  This recipe is delicious, but makes a ton, but it also keeps in the fridge fairly well for a day or two and makes a great lunch the next day.  If you’re not a fan of leftovers and you’re not feeding a crowd, I’d recommend making a half-batch.  It was quite good and pretty simple.

The corn recipe, basically, is here, but I used Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming for the seasoning this time.  A universal hit, every time.  Have served it for company and always have people ask for the recipe.  Boy, in particular, LOVES this stuff.

The chicken is just boneless, skinless thighs sprinkled liberally with this fantastic Adobo seasoning mixture (scroll down) and then grilled.  I really love this spice blend and am planning to use it more in the future.  It’s great on chicken that you’re planning to put in any kind of Mexican dish (enchiladas, tostadas, fajitas, etc.)  Achiote/annatto can be a little bit hard to find, but try a Latin market (or the Latin aisle of a large supermarket.)  If you’re in Austin, Central Market has whole annatto seeds (in their bulk section) that can be ground in your spice-dedicated grinder.

What?  You don’t have one of those?!!?!  $20 can fix that.  You NEED one.  How else can you make garam masala?

*This meal is gluten-free, if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs.