Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

One of my favorite new healthy snacks is black bean and corn salsa.

It makes a wonderful “scoop” with tortilla chips.

It is also great all by itself as a salad or piled on top of a grilled chicken breast or fish.

It is light, healthy, crunchy, tangy, low-calorie, high-fiber, and absolutely DELISH too!

Here is how I make it, but you can surely tweak to your liking.  It would be great with a bit of fresh cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand when I made this batch on Sunday.  You could also switch it up with any other kind of bean you like or other veggies like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • Servings: approx. 3 cups
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Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste (approx. 2 Tbsp)

Directions:

Combine all  vegetables in a bowl.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar to taste.

Serve as a salsa for tortilla chips, as a salad, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

Store well in airtight refrigerator container for several days.

*TIP:  When we buy fresh corn on the cob in the summer, we always buy a full dozen, though we never eat all of that for the two of us.  We cut the leftover off the cob, throw it in a Ziploc freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for the winter months or times when fresh corn is not available.  It is so much better than canned corn.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Coffee Bean Christmas Tree

Do you have a coffee lover on your holiday gift list?

I do, so I was excited to try this idea for a simple homemade gift.  It’s a coffee bean tree!  What do you think?

coffee bean christmas tree

styrofoam coneI started with a 12″ Styrofoam cone and painted it with brown acrylic paint.

Once dry, I adhered the coffee beans with hot glue, then decorated with a few red berries and a festive bow.

(When gluing the beans on, I laid the cone down horizontally on a large paper plate, applied an area of hot glue, and poured a handful of beans on, pressing lightly.  Once the whole side was covered, I rotated the cone and repeated.  The loose beans fall off onto the paper plate, and you can redistribute.  For the 12 inch cone, I used about 2/3 of a 1 l lb. bag of beans.)

To finish it off, I glued a brown felt circle to the bottom.

Not only does it look pretty and festive, it smells wonderful too!  I used a dark Colombian roast, but you could do a hazelnut or french vanilla or any other flavor/scent you like.

You might even like to make one for yourself.   It’s a great little kitchen Christmas tree.

I love how it turned out, and I think my coffee-lover liked it too!  🙂

Cheers & Latte Hugs,

Jodi

 

Dilly Beans & Spicy Pickled Peppers

dilly beans

I’m on a little bit of a canning kick…

jalepeno peppers

Last weekend, I gathered all the banana peppers and jalapeno peppers I could harvest from my tiny little garden, sliced them up, and pickled them.

peppers

This weekend, I tried some Dilly Beans.   (As I type, the jars are cooling and “popping.”  Pure joy to anyone who has ever canned – right?)

dilly beans

If you are looking for something to do with all of those peppers or beans, here are a couple very easy recipes to try.  How yummy they will taste in the middle of winter to remind us of summer!

Dilly Bean Recipe (compliments of “Oh Rob” & Joyce Brugnoli)

2 pounds of green beans
1/2 cup of canning or Kosher salt
2 1/2 cups of vinegar
2 1/2 cups of water
4 cloves of garlic divided
4 heads of dill divided

Trim the ends of green beans,  Combine salt, vinegar, and water in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars. Add one clove of garlic and one head of dill to each pint.  Ladle hot liquid over the beans. Add lids, and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Yields approximately 4 pints.

 

Banana Pepper Rings (as found on The Virtuous Wife’s Blog)

15-20 banana peppers
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 clove of garlic (per pint jar)
1 tsp canning/pickling or Kosher salt (per pint jar)
1 tsp vegetable oil (per pint jar)
3-4 pint jars and lids, sterilized and prepared for canning

Wash the peppers. Slice, remove seeds, discard stem ends.  In each sterilized jar, add one garlic clove. Pack jars with pepper slices.  In each jar of packed peppers, add 1 tsp canning/pickling salt and 1 tsp vegetable oil.  In a sauce pan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and ground turmeric. Bring to a boil.  Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-space. Remove any air bubbles and add more liquid as needed.  Apply lids and bands, screw down to fingertip tight. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Cool and store.

It is recommended to let both “cure” for approximately 2 weeks before eating. I’ll have to let you know how they turn out!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi