Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Salad


I was so hungry for corn on the cob this weekend and despite the fact that it's too early for local corn we bought some. It was pretty good; not quite as good as the local produce will be in a few weeks but at least it satisfied the craving.
The corn was sold in pack of five ears; which meant leftovers. I remembered a corn and black bean salad we bought at the local food co-op a while ago that was delicious. I figured this was my chance to try it out.

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients:

1 Can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups Fresh corn
1 small Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
½ Red Onion, chopped
1 ½ tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Hot Sauce,
Juice of one Lime
2 Tbsp chopped Fresh Cilantro 
2 Tbsp Vegetable Or Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper

Directions:

Combine corn, pepper, onion, cumin, hot sauce, lime juice and oil. Add beans and mix again. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and drain the beans. Taste and add pepper and salt if desired.  Refrigerate and allow to set at least a half hour so flavors will meld. Stir once more before serving.

We both really liked it. Husband is a huge fan of fresh cilantro and this was a good chance to harvest from the plant we have potted on the deck. I think the lime and the cilantro really make this salad.  I liked the bit of spice from the cumin and hot sauce, but if spicy isn't your thing you could always leave it out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spicy Turkey Burgers


Throwing a burger on the grill is such an easy summer meal. We have both been enjoying turkey burgers when we go out to eat and I decided to try it at home.
I wanted plenty of spice and seasoning as turkey has a lot less fat (and therefore flavor) then hamburger. Some of the flavor was in the meat in the form of Cayenne pepper and garlic and onion flavor, but most came from the spicy guacamole and Pepper Jack cheese. I really like Wholly guacamole and we both enjoyed the spicy variety.

 Ingredients:
1 Pound ground turkey breast
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Onion Powder
Salt
Cayenne Pepper
1 Egg

Top Burgers With:

Tomato Slices
Guacamole - spicy if desired
Cheese - Pepper Jack or your choice
Directions:

Combine meat, spices and egg and mix with your hands. Separate into our equal amounts and form into burgers. 

Spray one side of patties lightly with no-stick cooking spray. Place burgers carefully on grill. Spray the other side of the patty before flipping. Handle carefully and try to only flip the burgers once. Turkey burgers fall apart much easier then hamburger.

Serve on fresh buns with tomato slices, guacamole and cheese.

I served it with classic potato salad and it was a good combination.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

No bake cookies



I was in the mood for cookies today; but since it's 90 degrees and the humidity is whatever-awful-is I sure wasn't turning on the oven. These cookies don't require baking, are made in one pan and are super easy. Win.
You can also eat as much "dough" as you want; no raw eggs to be found! Not that raw eggs have ever stopped me from cookie dough; it's just too tempting.

Chocolate, Peanut butter and Oatmeal No Bake cookies

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Ingredients: 

½ cup (1 stick) Butter
2 cups Granulated Sugar
½ cup Milk
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
½ cup Peanut Butter
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 cups Quick-Cooking Oats

Directions: 

1. Add butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder to a large saucepan.

2. Stir frequently and allow butter to melt. Heat to a rolling boil and boil for one minute. This whole process takes about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats. Mix well.

5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets. Be careful as the cookies are still pretty hot at this point.  The cookies do not spread from the position in which they are placed on the wax paper. Flatten with a spoon if more of a cookie shape is desired.

6. Let cool until set. Or try one warm. They taste great warm; what cookie doesn't?

Yield is 2-3 dozen. I got 2 dozen as I made fairly large cookies.

If you are like me you will leave an inch or so between the cookies on the pan to spread as if you will be baking them. Old habits die hard. They really do harden in the shape they are placed, so you may wish to pat them down a bit. But flat or round they taste the same. Delicious!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry Spinach salad


We did some grilling over the 4th of July; enjoying a rare weekend without constant rain. It has been a weird summer.
To celebrate the holiday we had hamburgers and baked beans. I had some leftover spinach from earlier in the week and a few strawberries still hanging on from a huge container I bought. I decided a salad would be a nice addition to round out the meal. I usually make it in a large bowl but for the two of us I decided to do individual servings and I thought it worked really well. The dressing and pecans can get lost in the bottom of a big dish and the individual serving bowls kept that from happening.

Ingredients:

Baby spinach leaves
Sliced strawberries
Pecan halves or pieces

Dressing:

2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of water
2 Tablespoons of  minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

Arrange strawberries and pecans over spinach leaves.

Mix dressing and pour over salad shortly before serving.

*I did some recipe searches online and see a bit of oil is a common addition to this dressing. It might make the dressing "stick" to the spinach leaves and I will probably try the the next time I make this salad.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Teriyaki chicken


I have always loved teriyaki. It is my go-to favorite choice when ordering chicken wings with sauce. I had never tried making it at home before. Certainly I have bought many of the bottled varieties; and they aren't bad at all. But I though a homemade sauce was probably pretty easy and sure enough, it is.


Ingredients:

2 tsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Cold Water
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 ½ Tbsp Rice Vinegar
½ tsp Sesame Oil
2 clove Garlic Minced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Pineapple Juice
2 Tbsp Crushed Pineapple
1 Chicken Breast Split

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients except the chicken breast. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Watch the sauce carefully as it can scorch and burn easily.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Cut chicken into desired size pieces and place in an 8x8 baking dish. Cover chicken in sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Pour sauce from the bottom of the dish over the chicken on the serving plates. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

This recipe is enough for two serving with a generous amount of sauce. Rice would be a natural side but I decided to just serve it with a side of broccoli for a light lunch today. 
I put together this recipe from a number of different sources. I especially like that is contains ingredients I have available. Since I have been making more stir fries I keep rice vinegar and Sesame oil on hand. 
I used can pineapple for the crushed pineapple and the sauce. Fresh would obviously be amazing. I was tempted to drop a few pineapple chunks over the top as it came out of the oven, but I didn't want to overdue the sweet.
It's a delicious recipe and can be on the table in about 45 minutes.