Brown Basmati Rice and Black Bean Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

It’s finally getting warmer in Brooklyn, to the point I had to switch on the A/C for a few days (Con Edison loves me). For me, when it’s warmer outside, I’d rather eat lighter meals that can be served cold. This is a nice, light lunch or dinner option. I think you can add diced pepper and corn to this salad and that would work well too. Go on and make yourself a margarita too!

  • 2 C. cooked brown basmati rice, cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 C. Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 TB mayo
  • 1/4 C. lime juice
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of salt/pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust accordingly, ie: if you want it tangier, add more lime juice, more creamy, add a bit more mayo. Note: I used bottled organic lime juice (Santa Cruz brand). It’s pure lime juice, no sugar or extra crap. I also use it to make margaritas [upcoming post!])

In a large bowl, add beans and vegetables to cooled rice. (you want to use cooled rice because you don’t want mushy tomatoes and cooked avocado, nor do you want the dressing warmed by the rice). Add dressing and mix until everything is coated. Add crumbled Bulgarian feta on top. Bam, you’re done. With this recipe, I’m pretty sure you CAN win friends with salad

Now, go do your laundry that you’ve been putting off for a few days.

Green bean, Carrot, Chickpea Salad

When I was a kid, we used to pick green beans from my grandma’s garden in MI. I liked green beans so much so, I couldn’t wait until we got in the house to wash them, that I’d just eat them straight after picking them. My brother hated green beans, and still does to this day. So, more for me! I wasn’t a fan of green bean casserole that always seemed to make an appearance at family holiday dinners. I like my beans steamed or sauted with olive oil or butter and some lemon juice. Or, I love them raw in a salad. Originally, I was just going to do an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing, but decided upon a creamy dressing of mayo, ground yellow mustard, olive oil and lemon juice (this is the same dressing from the previous recipe here This would be a great side dish any time of the year…but, it makes me think of summer because it’s fresh and crisp.

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, washed
  • 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • 8-10 baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of chives

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Rinse and trim the green beans, cut them in half and put them in a large bowl. Add diced red onion, cut carrots and can of chickpeas. In a separate bowl, combine dijon mustard, mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whip together until smooth. Add dressing to veggies and stir until well-coated. Add some fresh chives too if you like.

Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Almonds and Lemon Dressing

brusselssalad

For me, Brussels Sprouts are a fall or winter vegetable, but, recently, I had bought a bag of them because I wanted a raw salad. This is something easy to put together because for some reason I’ve been feeling a little lazy lately. This is a nice light side dish, or afternoon snack.

  • 1 Bag of Brussels, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C raw almonds, chopped
  • 3-4 TB Olive Oil
  • 2 TB Mayonaise
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2tsp of dried mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing: Start with 3 TB of extra virgin olive oil (honestly, I didn’t measure the ingredients for the dressing, but eyeballed it.) Add lemon juice and mayo, garlic and mustard powder. I used my tiniest whisk to combine the ingredients. Taste it and adjust to your liking.

Slice up those Brussels, add them to a large bowl, add chopped almonds and toss with your dressing. Add a little bit of shredded pecorino Romano if you’re feeling it.

#summer #dinner #BrusselsSprouts

Banana “Ice Cream”, aka, Bananascream

Why on earth did it take me so long to make this? I had seen the recipe online last year some time and had filed it away until a friend mentioned it last week. I’m lactose-intolerant and have found many ice cream substitutes (coconut milk, almond milk ice creams are my preference) at the grocery store, but have never tried making anything comparable at home, until just now. I will say, that if you want just one serving (one medium banana is about 105 calories), use one banana and a mini food processor, like I did just now. I’m still swooning. The flavor reminds me of my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Chunky Monkey. You can adapt this recipe to your whims…the possibilities are endless…fresh or frozen berries, chopped nuts, maple syrup, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc. Next up: I’m going to buy some popsicle molds and make popsicles for the warmer months…

Of note: I think it helps if the bananas have a few brown spots on the skins. It’s also helpful if you cut the bananas into chunks prior to freezing because I found it difficult to cut frozen solid bananas (oops). Freeze the peeled bananas overnight and until completely solid. For more than one serving, use more bananas, I know, a no-brainer.

For one serving

  • 1-2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
  • Dash of pure vanilla
  • 2 TB bittersweet chocolate chunks

Add frozen chunks of bananas to food processor and pulse until creamy. Do not over-process, or else you’ll have soup. Throw in whatever additions you please and pulse a couple more times. Next time I think I’ll add some pecans or Nutella or cold peanut butter…or, or..

Don’t worry if you did over-process! Just pop the mixture in the freezer after you add your extras and you should be good to go in under an hour.

Black Bean, Corn, Tomato, Avocado Salad

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer colder foods in the summer. And because I cannot live on coconut or raspberry sorbet every day…
This dish works as a side salad or possibly a salsa accompaniment to roasted mushroom soft tacos (oooh, I just gave myself an idea). I used fresh corn on the cob rather than frozen because I had leftover corn. (I just sliced it off the cob in large pieces. If you use frozen corn, sauté it first in a pan and let cool). It’s a quick and easy and made a nice lunch for my lazy Sunday afternoon. Hey, where’s my sangria?

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 ear of cooked corn on the cob, sliced off cob
  • 1 medium/large tomato
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 small/medium zucchini, thinly sliced pieces
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TB of olive oil
  • 2TB of white balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the black beans, add the diced tomatoes, pepper, corn, avocado, and zucchini. Add the juice of a lime (so the avocado doesn’t brown), olive oil and vinegar. You don’t have to add vinegar, but I did because it adds a different element of flavor and is a nice complement. Stir and then let the salad sit for 10 minutes, as the salt with draw out the water from the tomatoes and zucchini.