Category Archives: Healthy and Nutritious

Southwestern Black Bean and Pineapple Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

What to do with a can of blacks beans and some fresh pineapple?  Why, make a southwestern inspired meal beginning with a delicious black bean and pineapple salad!

This salad complements beautifully with the rest of my southwestern inspired meal which consists of my previously posted southwestern dry-rubbed grilled pork chops (nice and thick and juicy, of course) and mashed turnips with green chiles and goat cheese.  Absolutely delicious, and a meal I repeat often!

Southwestern Black Bean and Fresh Pineapple Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Southwestern Black Bean and Fresh Pineapple Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Black Bean & Fresh Pineapple Salad:

  • 1 15-oz can black beans (frijoles negros), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C pineapple, fresh, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced (soaked in cold water, rinsed and dried – see *note below)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced
  • 2 tbs fresh (or 1 tsp dried) cilantro
Ingredients for the Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette:
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin, dried
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, grated
  • 6 tbs canola oil

To Prepare the Southwestern Black Bean & Fresh Pineapple Salad
In a medium bowl mix together the black beans, pineapple, tomato, red onion, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro.  Set aside while preparing the cumin-lime vinaigrette.

*Note:  When I use raw red onion I prefer to soak the onion in cold water for a few minutes (changing the water a couple of times) and then blotting them dry with a paper towel or a clean dish cloth.  I find that this helps mute their strong taste which can sometimes overpower other ingredients in the dish.

To Prepare the Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
In a small bowl mix together the lime juice, honey, dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, cumin, and black pepper until well blended. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil…whisking briskly until thoroughly combined. Add the vinaigrette to the prepared black bean and fresh pineapple salad, stirring gently until combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend and the salad to chill.

Nutrional Information:
Total Servings – 8 (approximately 1/2 cup per serving).
Per Serving – 110 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat (only 1 g saturated), and 5 g protein.

This salad is very nutritious – low in calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat, while being high in protein and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.  Definitely a heart-healthy choice!

I hope you enjoy this southwestern inspired salad as much as I do… and do have the southwestern dry-rubbed pork chops to go with it.  Until next time my friends, be blessed in all you do and may the Gods of Good Food and Cooking smile down upon you!

Curried Barley with Cranberries, Raisins and Pecans

In all of the years I have been cooking I have never, ever cooked with barley.  I had eaten it before in a soup that a friend had prepared, but that was really the extent of my affair with barley.   Pretty much over before it even began.  Even when grains became the new foodie trend, I still never gave it much of a passing thought.  Until now…

…When I stumbled across this recipe from Farmflavor: Curried Barley with Cranberries, Raisins and Pecans by Kim Galeaz. This is a delicious recipe and I can honestly say I now have a deep love affair with barley, particularly with the warmth of curry, turmeric, and allspice, the sweetness of dried fruits, and the savory crunch of nuts.  I am always a lover of the combination of sweet and savory and the addition of curry truly brings together a harmonious blending of the flavors in this dish.

The other beauty of this recipe is its versatility.  Not only is it good warm as the recipe instructs, it is also delicious at room temperature.  Adding different dried fruits and nuts, as well as fresh fruits (just before eating I added 1/2 of a granny smith apple), keeps this recipe from becoming boring and gives you a very nutritious , and delicious, way to start your day!

Curried Barley with Cranberries, Raisins and Pecans
Curried Barley with Cranberries, Raisins and Pecans from “My Indiana Home” by Kim Galveaz via Farmflavor

Curried Barley with Cranberries, Raisins and Pecans

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ cups onions, diced
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
¹⁄₈ teaspoon pepper
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups quick-cooking barley
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, chopped
⅓ cup golden raisins
½ large granny smith apple, chopped (add to prepared recipe just before eating for added crunch and flavor)

Click Here For Directions and Nutrition Information