Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hearty BBQ Chicken Salad

I am always on the lookout for main-dish salads.  We like to try and have one meal a week that is a dinner salad.  It can be challenging to find a salad that not only pleases my meat-eating husband, but also my 3 year old.  This one is a long-time favorite of the whole family!  It is packed with chicken (we use Gardein), black beans, potatoes (you heard me!), tomatoes, and corn.  The BBQ sauce on the chicken combined with the avocado and blue cheese vinaigrettes (that's right, 2 dressings) give this salad so much flavor.  There is truly something in this salad for everyone!

Ingredients (makes 2 large entree salads)

for the avocado vinaigrette
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp peach jam
1/2 ripe avocado
salt and pepper to taste

for the blue cheese vinaigrette
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp peach jam
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste

for the potatoes
3/4 pound red potatoes, washed
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

for the chicken
1 package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
your favorite BBQ sauce

for the salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
6 oz black beans
1/2 C fresh or frozen corn

(Don't believe that a 3 year old eats this?  Here is how I serve it to her.  I just cut everything a little smaller and mix the dressings for her.  She LOVES it!)

  1. To make the dressings - place the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.  
  2. To make the potatoes - boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender.  Remove the potatoes and cut into large bite-sized pieces.  Drain the water from the pot.  Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter.  Add the shallot, parsley and potatoes.  Stir to coat evenly.  Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. To make the chicken - cook Gardein according to package directions.  Slice into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a bowl and combine with BBQ sauce.
  4. To plate the salad - lay out the greens on a plate.  Top with corn, beans, tomatoes, chicken, and potatoes.  Drizzle both dressings on top.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole

I don't have many casseroles in my repertoire because it seems that so many of them are very unhealthy.  This one isn't exactly a health food, but sometimes you just need a casserole, right?  It screams fall to me.  Cold weather outside and a hot dinner in a 9x13 baking dish sizzling away in the oven.  Ahhh, comfort food!  :)   

There are a lot of different seasonings I use in this casserole to give it a real kick of flavor.  Really, this combination of spices is always a winner for me in a number of applications.  I have toned it down over the years so my daughter can handle it, but if you really like spice add more chili powder and cayenne.     We don't make this a lot because it's not the healthiest meal, but we always enjoy it when we treat ourselves to it.  :)  


2 C macaroni
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 heaping cup of corn
12 oz ground beef-style crumbles
16 oz low sodium tomato soup
1/3 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
french fried onions


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and green pepper and cook until tender.
  4. Add the macaroni to the skillet.  Also add the burger crumbles, corn, soup, broth, and seasonings.  Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and top with crumbled french fried onions.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the fried onions are golden brown.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ultimate Mexican Pizza

It's a known fact...I love pizza.  If I could have it every single day, I would.  If you ask me, it's the perfect meal!  It includes grains, dairy, and a variety of fresh produce!  Sounds pretty balanced, huh?  I love trying new combinations of veggies on my pizzas and boy did I find a winner!  This Mexican pizza is PACKED with veggies and is even given an extra boost with a base of beans in lieu of the standard tomato sauce.  This gives the pizza tons of fiber and a virtually fat-free source of protein.  By making your "refried" beans at home, you have control over the salt levels, lowering the overall sodium content of this meal.  

This pizza with the toppings shown above is awesome (that is how my 3 year old ate it), but if you want to make it truly "Ultimate" you have got to add my Restaurant Style Salsa and some broken tortilla chips on top of your pizza slices.  Seriously life-changing people!  The combination of hot pizza with cold salsa and crunchy chips is a match made in heaven.  All the prep can be done ahead of time, making this a great dinner when you are short on time in the evening.  Go ahead.  Try it tonight!  :)

Ingredients (add to your liking!)

Your favorite pizza dough or crust
refried beans
jack and pepper jack cheese, shredded
sliced olives
fresh or frozen corn
tomatoes, seeded and chopped
green onions, chopped
cilantro, chopped
avocado, chopped
Restaurant Style Salsa
tortilla chips


  1. Heat the oven to 475 degrees with a pizza stone inside.  
  2. Ready your pizza dough/crust and add toppings.  Start with an even layer of refried beans.  Next add cheese.  Then top with all the veggies except cilantro and avocado.  
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
  4. Remove from the oven and add cilantro and avocado.   Just before enjoying, top with salsa and chip pieces.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Corn and Black Bean Salad

This salad is such a staple at my house that I will even make it when the main veggies are not in season.  I just can't live without it!  It is a wonderful compliment to any Mexican dish and a fresh alternative to the Spanish rice standby.  It can be made in advance (you know how I love anything that streamlines the dinner rush!) and can be served cold or room temperature.  We enjoy this dish with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, you name it!  I sure hope you give it a try!


1 C dried black beans, cooked and drained (or a 15 oz can)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed (or 2 C frozen)
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Place beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, and parsley into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing into the veggies and stir to combine.  Can be served cold or at room temperature.

Adapted from Earthbound Farms - Food to Live By

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Island Kale Salad

Kale is a staple at our house.  I just love how healthy it is and my daughter loves to eat it!  We make our parmesan kale chips every few weeks because they are such a great snack.  I had been trying to find another way to enjoy fresh kale and I created the most delicious salad!  If you are lucky enough to live near a Veggie Grill restaurant, it is inspired by their All Hail Kale salad.  (side note: if you can, go eat there!  The food is fantastic!!)

The salad consists of fresh kale tossed with quinoa and a ginger papaya dressing.  Then it is topped with a fresh corn salsa and crunchy walnuts.  What's not to love?  It is crisp, clean, and delicious!  Corn season is coming to a close, so go pick up some fresh sweet corn and make this salad today!

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side)

For the Salad
2 bunches of kale, washed, removed from stem, torn into 1 inch pieces
1/2 C uncooked quinoa, cooked and cooled
Fresh Corn Salsa (recipe below)
Island Dressing (recipe below)
chopped walnuts

For the Dressing
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 C fresh papaya, chopped
1/3 C lime juice
1/8 C rice vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 C canola oil
1/4 C agave nectar

For the Fresh Corn Salsa
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp lime juice


  1. Put all the dressing ingredients (except canola oil) into a blender and pulse until smooth.  With the machine running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.
  2. Place the kale, quinoa, and dressing into a large container or sealed bag and shake to evenly coat.    Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
  3. Make the fresh corn salsa by combining all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  4. To assemble the salad: plate the dressed kale and top with 1/2 C of the corn salsa.  Add the chopped walnuts as desired.  

Inspired by Veggie Grill's All Hail Kale

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pot Pie Pizza

OK.  This may be the coolest thing ever.  If you haven't guessed, I love pizza.  It is, hands down, my favorite food.  I love that you can make so many different variations, and as a vegetarian, one of the foods I miss is chicken pot pie.  It has such great flavors and is just so comforting.  Now, I have found a way to enjoy that same experience in a PIZZA!!  This was so much fun!

If you wanted to make it super simple, you could use a bag of frozen mixed veggies, but since my local organic farm had all but the peas available, I decided to use their fresh veggies.  I prepped them and steamed them to make my own veggie medley for this pizza and it was really easy - and don't they look beautiful?  :)  And what a great way to get kids to eat more veggies!

Instead of pizza sauce, you make a simple broth thickened with a basic roux.  If you are not a vegetarian, feel free to use chicken broth, but if you are a vegetarian I would really suggest using Imagine No Chicken Broth.  Vegetable broth would work, but the No Chicken broth takes it to the next level.  It truly tastes like chicken pot pie!!  I thought about adding cooked and shredded Gardein chicken, but opted against it this time.  Next time I think I will give it a try.  It's so good, it might be a part of my next vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner!  :)

Ingredients (makes 1 pizza)

3/4 C finely chopped carrots
3/4 C peas
1/2 C green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 cob of corn, kernels removed
1 pizza crust
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
2/3 C Imagine No-Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz shredded mozzarella
1/3 C freshly grated parmesan


  1. Using a steamer, steam the green beans for about 1 min, then add the carrots and peas and steam until crisp tender (about 5 mins).
  2. Set aside to cool and add the corn kernels to the veggie mixture.
  3. Heat the oven to 475 degrees with the pizza stone inside.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the broth and whisk constantly for 2 minutes until it thickens and begins to bubble.  Whisk in thyme, sage, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Prepare the pizza crust.  Spread the sauce evenly over the crust leaving a 1 inch border.  Top with mozzarella.  Layer the mixed vegetables evenly over the pizza.  Sprinkle with parmesan.
  6. Bake until crust is golden and cheese just starts to brown (about 15 minutes).  Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!

Adapted from - Family Fun September 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweet Corn Soup

With such amazing sweet corn from our local farm, I am always looking for new ways to prepare them.    I was so excited to try a soup recipe!  This soup is light, creamy and so easy to make.  The nutmeg added a wonderful dimension to the sweet corn flavor of the soup.  My whole family loved it, so I will definitely be making this again this season.  I sure hope you give it a try too; you won't regret it! 

4 Tbsp butter
1 C chopped sweet onion

5 cups of corn, freshly cut from the cob, divided
1 Tbsp sugar
2 C milk
1 C half-and-half
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook gently for 3-5 minutes until tender.  Do not let the onion brown.  
  2. Add 4 cups of corn and sprinkle generously with sea salt.  Stir well and cook 5-7 minutes.  Again, do not let the corn or onions brown.  
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the milk and half-and-half.  Warm over medium-low heat until heated through.  
  5. Add the corn mixture into the heated milk and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  6. Puree soup in batches until very smooth.  Pour through a fine wire strainer into a bowl.  
  7. Transfer soup back into pan and reheat over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in nutmeg.
  9. Serve in bowls and garnish with the remaining corn kernels and a dusting of nutmeg.

Adapted from BHG

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fresh Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

Nothing says summer quite like farm fresh corn.  It is one of those things we ONLY eat when it is locally available.  Even though you can get it year round in your neighborhood grocery store, I never do because store-bought corn is just not good!  Believe me, once you try local corn picked from the fields the same day, you will wonder how you ever ate anything else!

This salad is such a great side dish to a variety of meals.  It works great for a backyard BBQ, paired with a pasta, or even tacos!  Many corn salad recipes have you boil the corn cob first, but sweet corn is amazingly delicious raw off the cob.  Plus, it makes for easier prep!  The colors are vibrant and the taste is wonderful.  I hope you enjoy this salad all summer long - like I know I will!  :)

4 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
2 tomatoes, discard seeds and chop
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, discard seeds and chop
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
4 oz crumbled feta


  1. In a large bowl, combine corn, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Stir to combine.
  2. Add lime juice.  Stir to combine.
  3. Season with pepper to taste. 
  4. Can be made up to this point a day in advance.  When ready to serve, add crumbled feta.  
  5. Serve cold.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Basil Butter Corn on the Cob

There are few things that say summer more than grilled corn on the cob.  We indulge almost every week throughout the summer months.  This recipe is our favorite by far!  It is so easy to make and so tasty!  Just a few ingredients mixed with room temperature butter make this fantastic corn side dish.  Prepare it ahead of time and store it in the fridge so you are ready to grill just before dinnertime.  We have tried it with fresh basil, but we actually prefer the concentrated taste of the dried basil.  But feel free to experiment yourselves!  

-Makes 2 corn cobs-

2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 pepper fine ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 C freshly grated parmesan cheese

  1. Heat your grill to 400 degrees (medium heat).
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl.  Mix well using the back of a fork or spoon.
  3. Generously spred the mixture onto each cob so it is evenly coated.
  4. Place corn directly on direct heat. 
  5. Rotate 1/4 turn every 3 minutes for a total cooking time of about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Make Your Own Quesadilla

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this Saturday, so I couldn't resist making some Mexican food this week.  Quesadillas are such a quick and easy meal, and you can fill them with just about anything.  The best part for me is offering the fillings and letting my daughter make her own!  She is more apt to try a variety of veggies if she gets to assemble it.  :)

I have all the filling options prepped ahead of time and I lay them all out for the family.  I try my best to have an assortment in a variety of colors and textures.  No plain cheese quesadillas here!

Each person layers on the fillings and I cook them on the stovetop.  It takes a couple of rounds to cook them all, but again, it is so easy!

olive oil
shredded cheese (we usually opt for sharp cheddar and pepper jack)
yellow onion, diced
green onion, thinly sliced
red pepper, diced
sweet corn 
sliced olives
salsa (we make our own)
sour cream

These are what we had on hand this week.  In the past we have also used diced tomatoes and avocado. You could also add grilled chicken or any other meat if you like.  

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Lay the tortilla flat and fill one half of it with the fillings you choose.  Make sure you really stack them on there.  You will be surprised how thin they get once the cheese melts!
  3. Fold the tortilla over into a half-moon shape and place into the fry pan.  I prefer using a large fry pan so I am able to accomodate 2 quesadillas at once.
  4. Cook until the cheese has started to melt and the underside is golden brown.  Flip once to brown the other side.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.  Top with salsa and sour cream if you like.  Enjoy!! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BBQ Tofu Sandwich

I may be a vegetarian, but my husband is not.  I have to find meals that will satisfy his tastes while still not containing meat.  This sandwich is a great option!  With the chunky tofu and crunchy onions and bell pepper, it has plenty of heft to it.  Best of all, it is a cold sandwich, so the tofu filling can be made ahead of time to minimize dinnertime stress...a big deal in my house with the two kiddos!

14 oz firm tofu
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 C red onion, diced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 C whole-kernel corn
1/4 C vegan mayonnaise
1/4 C regular mayonnaise
1/2 C BBQ sauce

Note: I mix the two kinds of mayonnaise to make it a little more healthy.  Feel free to use only one or the other if you prefer. 

  1. Prepare the tofu by rinsing it and slicing it into 1/2 inch thick slabs.  Then place in a towel or layer in paper towels to press the excess water out of it.  I usually place my cutting board on top of the wrapped tofu with a medium sized bowl on top of it to weigh it down.  
  2. Once drained, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the pepper, onion and cilantro to the bowl.
  4. Combine the ingredients being careful not to break the tofu.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, corn, both mayonnaises, and BBQ sauce.  Mix well.
  6. Gently combine the tofu with the dressing
  7. Serve on your favorite roll and top with lettuce, tomato and onion
  8. Since the sandwich can be difficult to eat, especially for little ones, I tend to serve this slightly differently to my 3 year old.  For her, I tear up the bread, dice up some tomato and onion, and add the tofu mix.  She is able to eat it just fine with a spoon.  She really loves it!

Adapted from