Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

I will be a on a plane returning from Europe this Fourth of July so instead of a fun themed recipe (you’ll get that next year!), you get a tried and true favorite salad of mine which will be a nice balance for all those savory and sweet treats you will find at your BBQ’s. This salad screams summer and is very easy to make. If possible, try to use fresh corn, it really makes a difference. Happy Independence Day my friends.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 ears yellow or white corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the mint and set aside.
  2. Make an ice bath in a large bowl by combining 3 cups of ice with 3 cups water; set aside. In a large pot of boiling water, add a tablespoon salt. Add the corn kernels and the asparagus and boil until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Strain in a colander and place into the ice water. When completely cool, strain again.
  3. Place in a large bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, reserved dressing, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Photo Credit: iVillage

Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos

Sweet Potato Taco

So my hubs is going slow carb this month which means I had to get a little creative when I wanted some Mexican food. I had recently seen a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos on my friends website but was trying to recreate without using the corn tortilla. Instead, I came up with the idea of using the sweet potato as the “taco shell” and putting the filling on the inside. It’s not a taco you’ll be eating with your hands but it was delicious nonetheless!

Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos
 
Prep time
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-4 small or medium sized sweet potatoes, rinsed and ends cut off
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced (color is your choice)
  • 1 cup corn
  • Approximately 2 cups beans of choice, wither homemade or canned
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I prefer Trader Joes as it is all natural)
  • Any additional favorite taco toppings: cabbage, avocado, salsa, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Bake sweet potatoes until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle. (This can be done ahead of time)
  2. Slice potato lengthwise and scoop out the center leaving about ¼ in of the potato on the skin. (You can save the extra potato for something else if you’d like)! Increase the heat of the oven to 450. Brush or rub grapeseed oil (or another high smoke point oil) over both sides of the potato skins. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack or in a roasting pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, until browned and slightly crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan and add onions, cooking until fragrant. Add bell peppers and corn and cook until peppers begin to soften. Add taco seasoning and beans and saute until cooked through.
  4. Place sweet potato “taco shells” on a plate, fill with vegetable mixture and top with you favorite taco toppings.

 

Spooky Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Spooky Bean Dip

In honor of Halloween, here is another recipe this week. You really just cannot go wrong with bean dip. Pair it with some homemade tortillas chips and you have the ultimate crowd pleaser that is oh so easy to make festive.

Spooky Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips
 
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Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 packet of corn tortillas, sliced into quarters or cut into shapes using cookie cutters
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can refried black or pinto beans
  • 1 can corn (or 1½ cups cooked fresh or frozen corn)
  • 1 can green chilies
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ packet of taco seasoning
  • 2 cups fresh or premade guacamole
  • ¼ cup vegan sour cream or greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray and salt cut tortillas and arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Bake chips for approximately 10 minutes until they are lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, mix refried beans, corn, chilies, salsa and taco seasoning together in a bowl. Spread evenly in serving dish.
  3. Top with guacamole by carefully spreading guacamole on top of the bean mixture.
  4. Fill a pastry bag or a ziplock with a tiny cut in the corner with sour cream or yogurt and make concentric circles.
  5. Starting in the center, using a toothpick or a knife, make lines from the center towards the edges of the dish to create the spider web. Top with decorative spider!

Directions

 

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I had made an attempt at veggie burgers in the past and ended up with a crumbly mess. These ones turned out quite different. They were a hit among both vegetarians and non vegetarians. The chilies give it some good flavor while the beans and quinoa make it nice and hearty.

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 can (7 oz) diced green chilies
  • ⅓ cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra
  • 2 eggs/egg whites (only needed if burgers do not seem to be staying together)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until the quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, slightly mash the black beans. Mix with remaining ingredients except eggs. Chill the mixture. I chilled for about 5 hours to let the flavors absorb.
  3. Just before cooking, mix the eggs into the mixture and stir evenly. Shape mixture into patties and brown and heat in a frying pan with a little oil.
  4. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

 

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup

When it is wintery cold out there is nothing better than a warm cup of soup. I, however, like my soups to be a little more hearty and a little less brothy. This soup was absolutely fantastic! Serve with a nice hunk of bread and you are all set.

Average time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, (1 small to medium), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tbsp minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp of Hot Paprika (optional)

4 cups frozen corn kernels

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth, squash, thyme, cumin and paprika; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Add corn; return to a simmer and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: WarmVanillaSugar