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Posts Tagged ‘appetizers’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I have a little something for you today that your taste buds might enjoy…

With the warm weather finally showing us a glimpse of spring, barbecuing comes to my mind. I can’t wait to get my hands on that grill! Cold summer salads are also a favorite for the season, too. Especially healthy ones. That’s where today’s recipe for black bean, corn, and wheat berry salad comes into play.

If you recall, I introduced you to the wheat berry some time last year, giving you a recipe for my perfect protein salad. This is another opportunity for you to experiment with the healthy, full-of-fiber wheat berry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans (or 1 cup canned will do the trick)
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cups cooked corn niblets
  • 2 sweet roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Step one: If you’re using dry black beans, you will need to soak them in cold water for a few hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse and drain them well. Then cook until tender (about 1 1/2 hours).

Step two: Place wheat berries in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender. Drain well. They should be chewy, but still tender — never soft.

Step three: Combine with beans. Add corn, peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, basil, mint and chives to salad ( or whichever herbs you’ve chosen to use).

Step four: Make the dressing. Whisk together vinegar, pepper, garlic, salt and oil. Toss dressing with salad. If you need to, you can adjust the seasonings to fit your liking.

For my salad, I used cilantro and scallions. The original recipe for this salad suggests the addition of arugula or watercress.  You can add whatever makes you happy! Enjoy!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know I just did a post about food, but I just made the most interesting soup I think I have ever tasted. So, to follow up my post about comfort foods, here lies another post about food. (I guess this would fall in the realm of comfort food.)

Today, you will enjoy african style peanut butter soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy style peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (or 2) celery stalk (s), sliced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 can (14.4 oz.) diced tomatoes (with their juice!!)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken

Step 1: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and celery. Saute until vegetables are very tender (about 10 minutes).

Step 2: Stir in the garlic and chili powder. Saute for an extra minute longer.

Step 3: Add tomatoes with their liquid, chicken or vegetable broth, and peanut butter to the saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring often. (It might take a minute for the peanut butter to spread out.)

Step 4: Stir in the rice and the cooked chicken. Cook five minutes longer. You’re done!

This has a very unique flavor to it, but you have to like peanut butter to really enjoy it (of course.) But it’s not an overpowering peanut butter flavor. I had my doubts when I put a whole cup of the stuff into my soup, but it turned out great. After it simmers for a bit, the flavors all come together to create something wonderful.

The consistency is very creamy, and all the vegetables, chicken, and rice are deliciously coated with a nice layer of the peanut butter-broth mix.

Your tastebuds will really like this one. 🙂

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Scanning my cookbooks for something tasty I could make in abundance and take for lunch, I came across a recipe for this Southwest Black Bean Salad. It comes from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook and boy, is it zesty and delicious.

It calls for one jalapeno pepper. I used one that I grew in my container garden. (Apartments leave little space for real gardens.) It was definitely zippy, but if you are a real fan of spicy things, I would recommend using two jalapenos. That way, you’ll get a little more bang in your salad.

Ingredients:

  • One 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, then toss. Let stand, covered, until the flavors are blended, at least 1 hour.

Step 2: There is no step 2. It’s that easy!

This recipe would go great at a bbq or similar function. You’ll have all the guests on your invite list asking you for more when it disappears! In that case, of course, you might want to double the ingredients.

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