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
- 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)
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.
Cheers & Hugs,
Creamy Cauliflower Risotto with Shrimp.
On Easter Sunday, we enjoyed an absolutely amazing buffet brunch at a local restaurant in Mars called Breakneck Tavern where they served a positively divine shrimp risotto (among a kagillion other amazing treats). I only had about a tablespoon of it on Easter, because I wanted to try so many of the other wonderful things they had available (way more than I could sample at one sitting!), but I could not get that shrimp risotto out of my mind. It was sooooooo good!
Well – I have also been hearing great things about “ricing” cauliflower and have been anxious to try.
Since I had a beautiful fresh head of cauliflower in the fridge, as well as a bag of shrimp in the freezer, I decided to try a healthier version of shrimp risotto for dinner last night.
O. M. G! This turned out almost more heavenly than the original one I had a tiny taste of on Easter. More heavenly because it is so much healthier, but also so delish!!!
My recipe is adapted from one I found at Cafe Delites. This recipe is a low-carbohydrate, high protein, fiber-rich, calorie-friendly plate of deliciousness! I hope you will give it a try.
P.S. If I was making this only for me, I would totally add fresh green peas. What do you think? Hubby absolutely detests peas, so I sacrificed for him, but oooohhh – can you imagine??!! Pea lovers out there??
Here is how I made it.
Creamy Cauliflower Risotto with Shrimp
- 1 large cauliflower
- 12-14 oz shrimp, peeled and tails removed
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup Half and Half (or cream or milk)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (or dry white wine)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper (optional)
Remove core from cauliflower and break into florets. Working in batches of approximately 1 cup at a time, pulse cauliflower in food processor until it is the consistency of rice. Place all in large bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sear them while stirring until they start to lose their color. Add garlic and juice of half of the lemon. Fry for an additional minute. Add cauliflower, red pepper (if adding) and olive oil. Fry and stir for 3-4 minutes until fully combined and coated. Stir in the half and half (or cream or milk) and chicken broth (or white wine). Grate Parmesan cheese over all and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine. Cover and reduce heat to low to simmer 6-8 minutes until creamy.
When ready to serve, sprinkle with fresh parsley and wedges of lemon from remaining half. Top with additional Parmesan if desired.
Cheers & Hugs,
Apple Cider Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash.
The calendar says it’s Spring in our little corner of the world, but Mother Nature insists it’s Winter. I guess since our Winter this year was often more like Spring, we have to deal with a bit of Winter in Spring.
The day I made this recipe last week (the second official day of Spring), we had more snow fall in one day than we have had in one day in the past eight years (approximately 8 inches).
So this super easy, healthy, delicious one pan oven-roasted meal I found at TheLemonBowl.com and tweaked slightly was a welcomed delight.
Using cinnamon as a spice for a savory meal is a surprising delight! Don’t be afraid to use it liberally. When combined with salt and coarse black pepper and lots of garlic, it just sings with flavor.
The original recipe called for apple cider, which I did not have, so I found a lonely bottle of Angry Orchard Hard Cider in the back of the fridge that kicked butt in this recipe! I’m sure you could also substitute apple juice.
I was really tempted to throw in a handful of cashews or pecans (and might next time). What do you think?
I served this with a simple salad of fresh greens, and here is how I made it. Hope you will give it a try.
Apple Cider Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (approx 4 cups
- 1 large bulb garlic (approx. 12 cloves), peeled
- 2/3 cup apple cider (I used Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider!)
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place butternut squash cubes and whole peeled garlic cloves on bottom of large cast iron skillet or roasting pan. Pour cider over all.
Place chicken breasts on top. Drizzle with olive oil. Season all with cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done and butternut squash is soft.
Cheers & Hugs,
Oodles of Zoodles.
Has anyone else joined the zoodle craze?
Low carb, low calorie, gluten free, grain free, wheat free, healthy, nutritious, unprocessed, vegetarian, cheap and and easy ZOODLES!
Zoodles are zucchini noodles. Or better put, vegetable noodles made from spiral cut zucchini. They can be used in so many ways!
I recently purchased a SpiralLife Vegetable Slicer, and couldn’t wait to give it a try. Super inexpensive at $14.99 on Amazon, it was easy to use, easy to clean, and easy on the wallet.
I made my zoodles to accompany a light dinner of Lemon Butter Chicken this week, and we loved them.
I simply sauteed them ever so briefly in olive oil with salt and pepper and a couple cloves of minced garlic. After about two minutes, I added a handful of halved grape tomatoes and a generous grating of fresh Parmigiano reggiano cheese. After sauteeing another two minutes, my zoodles were ready to serve and eat. Yum!
How are you making your zoodles?
Cheers & Hugs,
A friend who reads my blog asked me a few weeks ago to post a yummy warm drink recipe. Well – when I recently tasted a warm caramel apple cider drink at a restaurant with my buddy, Janet after our Autumn Weekend Wandering trip, I knew it is what I would be trying. And try we did, again!
You could certainly make this with fresh apple cider, but I had a box of Alpine Sugar-Free Spiced Apple Cider packets in the pantry that I thought would work great, and they did!
When there is a nip in the air and you have time to sit under a warm blanket by a crackling fire with a good book or while watching a favorite movie in your fuzzy slippers or enjoying some catch up time on the phone or in person with a good friend, make a mug or two of this warm cocktail that tastes like drinking warm apple pie or a gooey caramel apple. (sigh…)
Here’s your yummy warm drink recipe, Melissa! Hope you enjoy!
Warm Caramel Apple Cider
Combine 1 packet Alpine Sugar-Free Spiced Apple Cider with 1 cup of hot water.
Add 1 shot (or as much as you like) Buttershots Butterscotch Schnapps.
If you want to “fancy it up” and make it special, you can garnish with a cinnamon sugar rim on your mug (simply dampen the rim of your mug with water and dip in cinnamon sugar), add a cinnamon stick and a fresh slice of apple.
Cheers & Hugs,
I know I often post yummy cookie and dessert recipes (and do I ever have an amazing Cinnamon Chip Brown Sugar Cookie recipe I will be posting later this week that I think has become my ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie ever! Get READY cinnamon lovers!)…
But I had to share this amazingly delicious, totally healthy, guilt-free recipe for SQUASH (of all things squash!) that has even won over hubby and son despite it’s “healthiness!” Yahoo!
It is spaghetti squash – Italian style, and it barely has any calories despite it’s full-flavor and filling-ness. You can eat oodles of this and not feel a bit guilty!
You can serve it as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish with a protein.
We had it as a side with dry-rubbed pork tenderloin on the grill and a fresh salad for Sunday dinner.
Here’s the recipe as I make it. Hope you will try, and let me know what you think. I would love to hear how you make it too!
Italian Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp dried Italian Seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh Parmesan cheese to taste
- Pierce whole squash 3-4 times with a fork, and microwave for approximately 12 minutes.
- Let cool slightly until manageable to work with.
- Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
- Scrape squash with fork forming strands of “spaghetti,” and set aside.
- In a large skillet saute chopped onion in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt until “sweated” out – 2-3 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes.
- Add spaghetti squash and saute all together.
- Add diced tomatoes and seasonings and saute all together.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! It sure is great when you can find a recipe that is healthy, hearty, and full-flavored too!
Cheers & Hugs,