Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salad

I am filing this under “Healthy Recipes” because it is all chopped fresh vegetables for the most part and you are only using lime juice and red wine vinegar with it.

This wasn’t spicy to me at all, and I am a self proclaimed wuss when it comes to spicy things. I even tried a little piece of the jalapeño while I was chopping it and it stung my tongue and lips. But overall the salad wasn’t spicy, I bought fresh jalapeños from the grocery store. So you may want to add more, or some seeds for more spice.

Serves: 6-8 Yield: 3-4 Cups

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 ears of corn on the cob (you can substitute 1-15 oz can of corn or 1-2 cups of frozen corn)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 small purple onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, peeled and seeded, chopped

4-5 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Cook corn in boiling water and cover 5 minutes; drain and cool. I was somewhat in a hurry so I put the corn cobs in the microwave for about 10- 15 minutes (just waiting for them to explode, but they didn’t.)
2. Cut corn from cob.
3. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder in a large bowl.
4. Add beans, corn, red peppers, tomatoes, purple onion, jalapeños, avocados and cilantro.
5. Toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours.

Leek Soup

2 Leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 Potatoes, pared and chopped
1 Onion, medium, diced
2 Celery stocks, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Oregano
5 C Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Rinse the leeks, cut off bottom ends and cut and discard the majority of the green portion. Not much green portion is desired. Chop. The  smaller chopped the better.

Prepare the remaining vegetables to your own taste in size to be cooked.
You can puree the vegetables if you want to make a more smooth soup rather than chunky.

Put all ingredients in a large pot and simmer until done.

Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

I found this recipe in 1999, in Cooking Light magazine.  I have been making it ever since and it is one of my family’s favories.  I always double this recipe because my husband likes to take the left overs to work, but I will be posting the original recipe.

1/2 cup cooked orzo

1 tsp oil

1 C diced tomato

3/4 C sliced green onions

1/2 C crumbled feta cheese (I like to use the different flavored feta)

1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

1T fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3/4 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 C chopped basil

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2.  Lay out large piece of tin foil and spray with non-stick spray.

3.  Mix cooked Orzo with first 8 ingredients.

4.  Place the Orzo mixture in the middle of the tin foil.

5.  Mix basil and shrimp together and place on top of Orzo mixture.

6.  Fold tin foil and close up all sides.

7.  Cook for 25 minutes.

8.  Cut tin foil open and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Broiled Teriyaki Chicken and Fried Rice

Start by marinating your chicken and then get the rice cooking.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

2 skinless, boneless, chicken breast
1/3 C Soy Sauce
2 Tbs White Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs honey
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed (I use powder garlic most of the time, about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 green onion, chopped into fine pieces (you can use any other kind of onion, I even use minced onion when out of fresh, about 1 Tbs)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Ginger powder, (can use fresh ginger root)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, (can substitute red pepper if you want more of a kick)
Stir above ingredients in a glass backing dish. I use a fork or a knife to poke holes in the chicken meat so that the marinade can seep in and make it more flavorful and tender. I also prefer to cut my chicken breasts in half or in thirds because I feel it does not get too dried out as I broil it in the oven in the marinade.

Broil on High for about 5 minutes on one side and then turn over to broil another 5 – 8 minutes. Check by cutting into the middle of the meat to see if it is still pink, if so broil turn the chicken over again and broil for another 2-3 minutes or until it’s no longer pink.

2 Cups rice: I make 2 cups (dry), that feeds my family of 5 with very little left over. (I do have 2 kids who don’t eat a full sized portion though.) I also use rice cooker but it can be cooked in a pot. Use the directions on the back of the bag to cook the rice.

Also – You can use long grain white, or long grain brown. I actually use brown rice. But you will need to allow about 40 – 50 minutes for it to cook (as it takes about double the amount to cook than white rice.)

While your rice is cooking and your meat is marinading. You can chopped up your vegetables. I use whatever I have in my fridge. It’s usually something like this:
1 C carrots, chopped
1/2 C onions (can be green onions)
1/2 C peppers, chopped (They can be green, red, orange, and/or yellow. If you want more than one kind go for it!)
1/2 C Celery, chopped
1 C Broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 C Cabbage, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

You can add any kind of vegetable you want or take some of these suggestions out. You can also add Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts as well.

When you are ready to start cooking your Vegetables, turn your oven on Broil – High setting, and put the chicken in the oven to broil.

Pour about a Tablespoon of oil in frying pan (or Wok if you have one) and saute the carrots and onions first (as these take a bit longer to get soft), after a couple of minutes add the peppers and celery.

**At this point you want to check on the chicken and turn it over.

Then add the broccoli and cabbage.

Prepare a small pan and scramble the eggs.

Add rice to the veggies and stir it in. Cut the chicken into pieces and add it and the remaining sauce from pan, add eggs and stir.

Pasta and Red Sauce

This is something I threw together the other night; time was limited and so were the choices in the cupboard 🙂

Yield: 4 Sevings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Start off with getting your pasta pan filled with water and on the stove to boil. Get your pasta out, I chose vermicelli (or Angel Hair) but most pasta varieties will work (I have used penne, ziti or farfalle (bowties). Check the box for serving size. For the vermicelli, the box said 1 serving size was a 1/2″ circle of dry pasta. So measure accordingly. (I always just guesstimate) Cook pasta according to box directions. Don’t forget to add about 1 Tbs of olive oil in the water to keep noodles from sticking.

Then move on to preparing your red sauce.

1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (Here, I had to used minced because I was out of fresh onions. I used about 2 tsp)
1 – 2 cloves of Garlic (I also had to substitute Garlic Powder, I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbs Olive Oil (I used Virgin Olive Oil)
1 14.5 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

Sautee peppers, onions and garlic in with olive oil in small sauce pan until tender. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until pasta is ready. Drain the pasta and serve with the red sauce. Of course make sure you drip the sauce all over the stove top (as my picture shows) or you haven’t done it right 😉

This is VERY quick and easy, which is what I’m looking for most nights. And fairly healthy. I always serve with either a salad, green beans or broccoli on the side.

Granola Galore

My family loves granola for breakfast and snacks, so I had been looking for a yummy recipe.  I found it at but I made a few changes, you can find the original recipe here.

1.  10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2.  2 cups whole-wheat flour (I ground hard white wheat but the store bought will work just as well)

3.  2 cups wheat germ

4.  1 cup golden flax seed

5.  2 cups chopped pecans

6.  1 cup slivered almonds

Mix all above ingredients in large bowl

7.  3 Tablespoons vanilla extract

8.  1 Tablespoons almond extract

9.  2 cups honey

10. 3/4 cup coconut oil (or any healthy oil)

Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients.  Spread in shallow baking pans (I had to use 3) and bake for 1 1/2 hours (if you are in an area with a lot of humidity add a 1/2 hour) at 250 degrees.  Stir every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly.  Take out when it is golden brown and almost dry.  Let it cool and refrigerate it in an airtight container.

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