I Relish Black Beans and Roasted Corn

3 06 2010

Sorry, sometimes I just can’t pass up a good (or bad) pun!

This black bean and roasted corn relish will help get you through those meat-centric summer BBQs! Use it to spice up your veggie burger, bring it as a healthy and flavorful side salad or just serve it with some corn chips.


Ingredients:

•extra virgin olive oil
•28 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
•2 tsp garlic powder
•2 Tbs ground cumin
•cayenne pepper (to taste)
•2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
•1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
•juice of 1 lime
•2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
•salt
•ground black pepper


Directions:

1. Heat about 1 Tbs of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Add beans, garlic powder, 1 Tbs of cumin and cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp). Heat until thoroughly warmed and beans just start to soften (about 5 minutes). Chill.
3. Heat about 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thawed corn and remaining cumin. Heat until cooked thoroughly and some edges begin to turn dark. Chill.
4. After beans and corn have thoroughly chilled (about 30-45 minutes), combine together and add garlic, onion, pepper, lime juice and vinegar. Season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
5. Gently mix, seal and chill for at least 45 minutes.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Serve as a light side dish to any meal, with chips as a party dip, or over greens as a summery salad (no dressing needed). But my favorite use of this is to spruce up those veggie burger/fake chicken sandwiches you are left eating at summer BBQs! This one has avocado, a chik patty, monterey jack cheese, the black bean and roasted corn relish and baby spinach.


Tips:

•If you want your corn a little drier and crunchier, thoroughly squeeze kernels in a fine strainer or paper towel to remove some moisture before cooking.
•I use frozen organic sweet yellow corn for this dish. However, feel free to take this out to the grill! Just by fresh corn, season with the same seasonings and roast over a grill. After it is slightly charred, remove from the grill and chill fully. Once chilled, slice kernels off of cob.
•Make sure you thoroughly chill the beans before mixing with the other ingredients – particularly if you maybe overcooked them some. This will ensure they better keep their shape and you can avoid having a mushy (good-tasting) mess!






Tomatillo Sauce

23 05 2010

This sauce is easy to make, low in fat and full of green veggies. In addition to being good for you, it adds a bright color and bold flavor to otherwise bland dishes and ingredients (i.e. tofu and tempeh). My favorite use of this sauce is as a light, fresh alternative to traditional mole sauce.


Ingredients:

•2 lbs fresh tomatillos, peeled and quartered
•2 large poblano peppers, seeded and quartered
•2 tsp ground black pepper
•2 tsp ground cumin
•2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
•1 large yellow onion, chopped
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
•2 cups vegetable broth
•2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
•1 tsp salt
•the juice from 1 lime


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 500ºF (use broiler if available).
2. Prepare tomatillos: remove skins, rinse in warm water to reduce stickiness, pat dry and quarter.
3. Toss tomatillos and poblanos with 1 Tbs olive oil, pepper and cumin. Place in lightly greased large casserole dish. Bake on top rack of oven until charred, roughly 10 minutes.
4. Heat remaining olive oil in medium sauce pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender and slightly translucent.
5. After letting the tomatillo and onion mixtures cool for at least 5 minutes, combine with cilantro, vegetable broth, jalapenos, salt and lime juice in blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until mixture is smooth.


Recommended Serving Instructions:

Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips. Simmer vegetables, tofu or tempeh in this sauce until heated throughout (at least 5 minutes) and enjoy with rice and beans. Make delicious enchiladas (stay tuned for a recipe!).


Tips:

•Adjust the level of hotness by adding or subtracting jalapeno peppers.
•Adjust other spices to fit your taste preferences (I personally love extra cumin and sometimes add a Tbs of garlic powder).
•Blend less for a chunkier sauce – particularly great if using as a condiment.
•Short on time? Replace 2 lbs of fresh tomatillos with 2 28-oz cans of tomatillos. Drain and rinse before cooking. Follow the directions as you would with fresh tomatillos, noting that the roasting time may be shorter.