Friday, August 26, 2011

Garden Fresh Salsa

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Mexican tomatoes, partially drained
1 cup pace picante sauce (or other canned salsa of choice)
1 large Red bell pepper, diced
1 large purple onion, diced
4 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 limes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced (OPTIONAL)

Mix everything together and chill, covered, to allow the flavors to marinate.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Sometimes I add about 1 cup of frozen/canned corn for good measure!

Black Bean Toss (great as a salsa)

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 (15-ounce) can diced Mexican tomatoes, drained (rotel tomatoes)
1 (11-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or about a cup frozen/fresh)
1 (7-ounce) can chopped mild or hot green chilies, drained     *I used the 4 oz size
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup salsa
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/8 Tsp Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients, adjust to taste. Let chill, covered, up to 10 hours. Great with blue corn tortilla chips or any other variety!
(from Vera Bradley 'Cooking with Friends' cookbook)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Salsa Roja (Roasted Red Salsa)

6-8 Roma Tomatoes
1 Poblano Pepper
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 Small/medium Onion Diced (½ C.)
½ C. Cilantro
½ Lime

Preparation Instructions:

1.       1. .Broil the tomatoes and peppers for 10 Minutes, Turning half way through. (Enough to turn the skins black and able to peel) 
2.      2. While tomatoes and peppers are broiling dice onion and cilantro. Then rinse the onions for 30 seconds under cold water.
3.      3.Let peppers and tomatoes cool for a few minutes and remove the skins. Then remove seeds and veins from  the peppers and place them all into a food processor until pureed.
4.       4.Combine all ingredients, squeeze lime juice into the salsa and salt to taste.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Ingredients for Salad:
1/2 lb bowtie pasta
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 C or halved cherry tomatoes
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C frozen fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
optional: 8 oz diced cooked chicken (use Taco Chicken)
1/2 C Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese (or you could sub grated jack, cheddar or pepperjack)
Southwestern Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Cooking Directions for Salad:
Boil pasta in salted water until cooked. Place lime zest in large bowl.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool. Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw the corn), and chicken if desired. Toss with dressing. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Ingredients for Dressing:
6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 C white wine or rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp sugar (add a touch more if your limes are extra sour/bitter)
3/4 C canola oil
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

Cooking Directions for Dressing:
Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender. Process until smooth.
With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ensalada De Chayote- By Amanda Bingham

I though I would post the original recipe if anyone was feeling adventurous (I have to use either Paul or Google translate if I cant remember something).
1 lb Chayotes (they look like green pears, and are by all the peppers in Meijer, which is the only place I have seen them).
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp Poblano pepper, chopped (remove the seeds, they are the hot part of this pepper)

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil

Peel the chayotes with a potato peeler (I suggest wearing rubber or latex gloves when doing this, the juice from the chayotes does weird things to my hands). Cut into quarters, then cover with water and boil on the stove until tender (about 25 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the onions, bell peppers, and poblano peppers. When the chayotes are done, cut them into small cubes and let them cool, and then combine them with the peppers and onions.
Combine the dressing ingredients, and blend until smooth using a food processor or blender. Combine the salad and dressing, and let sit in refrigerator for one hour to allow the flavors to mix.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pasta Salad Dressing

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon or brown mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
black pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil

Measure vinegar (or lemon juice) and mustard (or mayonnaise) into a 2-cup measuring cup. With a small whisk, stir in garlic, a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Measure oil in another cup. Slowly whisk oil into mixture, first in droplets, then in a slow, steady stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette. 

I also added a little bit of sugar.  :)  I toss this on pasta salad with all of my favorite ingredients like bacon, grape tomatoes, broccoli, shredded mozzarella cheese, nuts (this time I only had slivered almonds on hand), and olives.  I know there are probably a million ways to do it, but I mix everything but the dressing together and then add the dressing about 15 minutes before eating.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jicama Salad

From Martha Stewart Living Magazine

3 jicama (about 2 lbs.), peeled
3 beets, trimmed and peeled
3 large carrots, cut into 3-inch lengths
5 navel oranges
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
5 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. unsalted peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut jicama, beets, and carrots into fine julienne. Toss in a large bowl.

Cut ends off oranges; using a paring knife, remove peel, pith, and outer membranes, following the curve of the fruit. Remove whole sections; add to bowl with vegetables. Squeeze juice from membranes into a bowl; reserve 1/2 cup.

In a small bowl, whisk together reserved orange juice, lime juice, and oil. Pour over vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

*This makes A LOT. I halved the recipe and still had plenty!

Green Bean, Tomato, and Chickpea Salad


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 3 wide strips lemon zest*, cut into thin matchsticks, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, or 3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/4 small red onion, diced small
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 ounces feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves**


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil. Stir in tomatoes, onion, chickpeas, and lemon zest. Add feta and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange green beans on a serving platter and top with tomato mixture.

*Note: I don't use "wide strips" of zest, I just zest the lemon and include it in the dressing.
**I like flat-leaf parsley the best!

Source: Everyday Food Magazine, June 2011