Dinner Is Served – Vol. 4

Happy Summer everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been desperately waiting for some nice weather! With nice weather comes nice, fresh produce. I frequently hit up the local Farmers Market as well as my Dad’s garden; can’t get much better than that! I’ve been preparing meals lately that are colorful, healthy, and full of nutrients. I think I’m finally getting my husband on board with these “healthy meals”. Now I just have to work on my kids.

This month I’m going to highlight two tasty salads I found that can easily be matched with a grilled piece of chicken, fish, or steak. They’re sooo good and both make decent sized portions that you will be able to enjoy the next day. Happy eating!

Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette 

For the Salad:
2 ears fresh corn
1 cup chopped red onion
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (plus a bit more for garnish, if desired)
1 avocado

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (2 peppers, not 2 cans; use smaller peppers and if they are all large, use only 11/2)

Instructions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let cool. Meanwhile, place the chopped red onions in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit about ten minutes, then drain completely in a sieve and set aside.

Place the beans in a sieve; run under cold water to rinse well. Let drain completely and set aside.

Holding the cooled corn upright in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cob in strips. Add the beans, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.

Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor; process until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.

Right before serving, slice the avocado in half. Remove the pit; using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half. Holding the avocado halves over the salad, use a spoon to scoop out the diced flesh. Toss the salad gently, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a squeeze of fresh lime to freshen it up). Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve cold.

Edamame Salad

Ingredients:
1 bag frozen edamame
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup green beans, cut to about 1½ inches
1, 4 ounce container feta cheese
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
Cook the edamame according to package direction (I cooked mine in microwave with a little water). Let them cool completely. Place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

In a large bowl add water with ice – you will need this for the green beans. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Drain green beans and immediately add them to the ice water. This is called shocking and stops the cooking process and also keeps the green beans bright green! Remove them from the ice water after a few minutes and pat them dry.

Add the edamame, green beans, and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl. Gently toss together and enjoy.

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Written by Bell Family’s, Courtney Bell Garvey

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