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

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob.

It is Fresh Sweet Corn on the Cob Season in our part of the world!

Corn is a vegetable we rarely eat – except in the heat of summer when it is fresh and sweet and bought the same day it was picked from a local farm stand.

After being in Arizona for a week recently, where it seemed everything we ordered had grilled or roasted corn in it (even a delicious deconstructed Caesar Salad), I had corn on the brain.

We had always boiled our sweet corn on the cob, but I fell in love with the magically charred kernels we experienced on our Southwest trip, so we decided to grill it this time.

O.M.G!  We LOVED it!  Oh how easy!  Keep the heat outside by using the grill.  And save clean up time with no pots of boiling hot water.

When I buy corn on the cob, even though is only the two of us now, I buy a full dozen.  We usually only eat about half of it, so we cut the rest off the cob and either freeze it in Ziploc bags for a fresh corn treat in the winter or save it for using in other recipes or reheating another day that week.

Here is how we did it.  Quick, easy, and oh so delicious!

By the way – I think the mistake many people make with corn on the cob is OVERcooking it.  Sweet corn on the cob truly tastes its best when you just cook it long enough to heat, but retain its wonderful sweetness, crunch and flavor.  Also, don’t look for the biggest ears of corn.  They could likely be tough.  Look for smaller, young, tender ears, and buy them from the farm or farm market – not the grocery store, where it could be several days old.  There is nothing like eating corn the day it is picked!

Roll it in some butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper for even more yumminess, but when you get fresh, sweet, seasonal corn, it barely needs anything else!

Here is how we made it.

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen fresh ears of corn on the cob

Directions:

Heat grill to approximately 450 degrees F.

Husk corn, and clean of the silks as best you can.  Rinse under cold water.

Place cleaned ears of corn directly on grill for 5 minutes.  Turn and grill for another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with sweet butter, salt, and pepper.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans, and Corn.

I love legumes, and I am really growing to love quinoa.  I recently tried this new salad for dinner that was so so delicious, filling, and healthy.

A one-cup serving of quinoa is packed with 9g proteins, 5g fiber, and 20g carbohydrate. Red quinoa is also rich in magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and phosphorous. It contains high quantities of lysine, an essential amino acid.

Legumes like black beans and edamame are also high in protein and fiber, and avocado is extremely nutrient dense.

To eat something that is so easy, so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious is a win-win in my book!

Are you a legume lover?  Quinoa connoisseur?  I’d love to hear your favorite ways to enjoy!

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Red Quinoa, cooked in broth and cooled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, frozen, roasted, or fresh off cob
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vidalia or Green Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cilantro, fresh chopped, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cherry tomato (optional) for garnish

Directions

Cook quinoa, and set aside to cool.

Toss vegetables together gently.  Drizzle with lime juice, vinegar and oil.  Season with salt, pepper and cilantro.  Gently toss.

Spoon quinoa onto plate.  Top with a generous scoop of vegetable salad.  Garnish, as desired, with quartered cherry tomato.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Best Ever Homemade Caramel Corn

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One of the things I make every holiday season for parties and gift-giving is homemade caramel corn.

This is not your ordinary caramel corn, however; and the secret is that its made with Hulless Puff-n-Corn instead of regular popcorn.

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Its super simple, makes a huge batch, and I have never taken it somewhere or given it away without being asked for the recipe.

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I got this recipe years ago from my dear friend, Pam, who is, by the way, one of the best Jewish “Christmas cookie” bakers I know!

Here’s the recipe, and be warned….. it is crazy addictive!

Best Ever Homemade Caramel Corn

  • Servings: huge batch
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Ingredients:caramel-corn-1

 

  • 2 6-oz bags Snyder Puff-n-Corn (or a brand you can get locally)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Spray large roaster pan with Pam cooking spray, and empty both bags of Puff-n-Corn into it.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large saucepan melt butter and peanut butter over medium-high heat.  Once melted, add brown sugar and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil.  Stir constantly, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and baking soda and stir well.  Pour mixture over popcorn, and stir well to coat.

Bake in oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi