Black Bean and Corn Salad

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Now that the warmer weather is here I’m starting to think about what to make for patio and picnic time. This salad is super tasty, and really healthy too. For me it’s a great quick meal salad, and since it keeps in the fridge for a few days I can just dig in whenever I need a little something to eat. You can also mix and match at you see fit, for example if you don’t like peppers you can substitute a bit of jicama or apple or whatever you’d like.

If you use canned beans and corn, all you have to do is make the dressing and add in whatever veg and herbs you like – super easy! Then let it all sit for about half an hour before you dig in.

I found the recipe here, and I just downsized the amounts. I used canned corn instead of frozen because I find frozen corn a bit rubbery, and peaches and cream corn is the best. I also added some freshly chopped tomato to the top of each salad, and a bit of extra bell pepper.

Avocado makes a great addition to the top of each salad serving. Sadly, I could not find a ripe avocado in the five stores I checked. They could charge double for the ripe ones… I’d pay double for a perfectly ripe avocado – would you?

What you need for the salad:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • I can peaches and cream corn, along with the liquid
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and diced (amount dependent on your heat preferences)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion

What you need for the dressing:

  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

What you do:

  1. Mix up all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Stir the dressing into the salad.
  3. Let the salad sit in the fridge with a cover over it for half an hour, or a few hours.

 

Fresh from the Cupboard Salad

canned vegetable salad - trust in kim

This is my new favourite quick salad for bringing leftovers to work or a picnic (when we’re back in picnic season, that is). Everything you need can be found in the cupboard (if you stocked up ahead of time) except the spinach, which you can easily do without. Plus it is healthy and so tasty.

It’s really as easy as adding  a vinaigrette to cans of veggies and adding some greens. If you leave the spinach out it keeps great for leftovers, and you can just add the greens when you eat it.

I found the recipe in a terrific cookbook that has a lot of great information about which vegetables to eat for different needs, like improved energy, stronger bones, stress relief, cardiovascular care, and so much more. The recipe is called ‘Veggie Yard Dash Salad’ in the cookbook; I’m not sure my title is any better, but I wanted to call it something that would let people know that it didn’t have a lot of ingredients that you might not have on hand. The book is The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure by Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe, aside from adding the spinach as I served it instead of mixing it in, was to use home-roasted red peppers instead of jarred. I think they taste way better, and I make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. But jarred work well too!

Feel free to use more or less of whatever you like; I made my recipe a lot bigger so I’d have more leftovers, and I love red peppers and artichokes, so I used more of them. This recipe serves four people, more or less.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup jarred or homemade roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
  • 1 cup peaches and cream (or whatever kind you like) canned corn
  • 1 – 227mL can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced artichokes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette of your choice (herbed vinaigrette recipe below)
  • a bunch of baby spinach

What you do:

  1. Pour the canned goods into a bowl, chopping the artichokes up a bit if they aren’t already. I used the juice from the canned corn, but the original recipe says to drain it – up to you!
  2. Add the sunflower seeds.
  3. Add the vinaigrette and combine all the ingredients.
  4. Chop up some spinach and add it to the portion you will be serving, or add a whole bunch of you think you’ll eat the whole thing in one go.

Enjoy!

Here’s the vinaigrette recipe:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a bit of chopped fresh or frozen basil (recipe say dried but I think this is 100x better!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. Crush the garlic and let it sit for 5 minutes, which is supposed to release more health-promoting properties.
  2. Combine the ingredients.

Voila, done!

Green Couscous

green couscous - trust in kim

This scrumptious recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty – love this book!  I used the larger Israeli couscous, which is also called pearl couscous, but you can feel free to use the smaller version.  I really liked the texture of the larger couscous, which has a bite more similar to a small pasta. The recipe involves cooking the couscous, then coating it with a lovely green herb paste, then topping it with pistachios, green onions, fried onions, arugula or spinach, and a little green chile.

I enjoyed this salad alongside roasted cauliflower and squash with tahini sauce. I absolutely love this meal, and my leftovers at work were the envy of many. This would also make a great picnic salad, instead of a pasta salad.

What you need:

 

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (or regular – just cook it according to the package directions)
  • just over 1 cup boiling water/ chicken broth/ vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (I like to use a sweet onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh green chile, finely sliced
  • 1 & 1/4 cups arugula or baby spinach

What you need for the herb paste:

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. Cook the couscous according to the package instructions.  I used homemade chicken broth to give it a little more flavour, but you can use water or veggie broth if you have it.
  2. Fry the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until they are golden and soft.  Mix in the salt and cumin, then set aside to cool
  3. Blend all the herb paste ingredients together.  You can use a food processor, but I used an immersion blender because that’s what I have in my tiny kitchen, and it worked well.  Add a bit more olive oil if you need; I left out 2 tablespoons of oil that the recipe called for.
  4. Mix the herb paste into the cooked and slightly cooled couscous, then mix in the pistachios, green onions, green chile and arugula or spinach.  I added the spinach to individual portions because I knew I would have leftovers, and I thought it would wilt over night if I mixed it in.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

Kamut and Veggie Salad

kamut salad - trust in kim

During summertime I like to have food in the fridge that I can grab as a quick healthy snack, or take out on a picnic.  I love the taste of Kamut (which is a trademarked name for khorasan wheat) because it tastes buttery and nutty, and I like that it’s a sturdy grain that has a good chewy bite to it. It is high in protein, so it makes a good meal-in-a-bowl salad.  It is also high in a number of nutrients, including zinc, manganese and magnesium. I’m particularly interested in the magnesium because it helps absorb calcium.

I love this dressing, from the Whitewater Cooks book.  I use it often on a green salad, but it works great on this heartier salad as well.

So yes, it’s nutritious, but it also tastes great.

What you need: 

about 3/4 cup Kamut (I used farro because I couldn’t find any Kamut at the stores near my place)

1/2 cup sugar snap peas, chopped into 2cm pieces

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

1 sweet orange or red pepper

a few medium-sized tomatoes chopped, or a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

optional: herbs of your choice, or salad greens

optional: freshly ground black pepper

What you need to make the Whitewater Glory Salad Dressing:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon tahini

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup vegetable oil

What you do:

1. Cook the Kamut in lots of water for at least an hour, or until the grains are tender.  Drain any excess water and let the grains cool. This step can be done ahead of time.

2. Put all the dressing ingredients except the oil into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and give it a good mix. In a steady slow stream, add the oil until it is all blended in.

3. Put all the chopped veggies into a bowl along with the cooled Kamut and mix with the dressing.  Add some dressing and taste to see if it needs a little more dressing, or some pepper.

4. Serve cold or room temperature, either on its own or on a bed of salad greens.

Mango Quinoa Salad

Here’s a salad with a taste of summer.  Easy, yummy, and great picnic food!

What you need:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 mango, cut into chunks

1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped finely (leave the seeds in if you love spicy food)

1/3 cup raisins

1 tomato, chopped

juice of 1 lime

a little chopped cilantro and/or parsley

What you do:

1.  To cook the quinoa, put it in a pot with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then put a lid on it and lower the heat, cooking for 15 minutes.  Then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Let the quinoa cool to use in the salad.

2.  Toss all the other ingredients together in a large bowl to let the flavours mingle, for at least half an hour.  By this time the quinoa may be cooled, and you can either serve the mango mixture on a bed of quinoa, or you can mix it all together.  Serve with a garnish of something green, like cilantro.

 

Lemon Tahini Chickpea Salad

This salad is so easy to make, tastes amazing, and has lots of nutrients tp keep you healthy!  Chickpeas have plenty of dietary fibre, vitamin B6, folate and manganese.  One third of a cup of sweet red peppers contains your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, as well as lots of vitamins A and E, B6, folate and many other nutrients!

What you need:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 sweet red pepper, sliced into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon red onion, chopped finely

1/4 cup loosely packed chopped basil

2 teaspoons olive or flax oil

1 tablespoon tahini

1/4 teaspoon cumin

juice of 1/2 a lemon

optional: fresh mint

What you do:

1.  Mix the oil, tahini, cumin and lemon juice.

2.  Put the chickpeas, onions, pepper and basil in a bowl.  Mix in the dressing.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

3.  Before serving, chop up some mint and place on top of the salad.