Category Archives: Savory

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!

A Classic: The Reuben Sandwich – Deli-Style

One of my very favorite sandwiches is the Reuben.  There is just something about the combination of all those wonderful ingredients: corned beef, melty swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand islands dressing – all lovingly nestled between two buttery and toasty pieces of bread.  Very yummylicious!

So today I found myself in the mood for this glorious epicurean delight and what with the recent celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it a fitting sandwich to share with you.  Many of you may still have corned beef and sauerkraut on hand.  If not, a quick trip to the market is wholeheartedly encouraged.

In the making of these sandwiches, I proudly confess that I never buy Thousand Islands Dressing.  It is so easy to make and requires little more than your regular staple items: mayonnaise, ketchup and sweet pickle relish.  Yep, believe it or not, just by mixing these three items together you will have a great tasting Thousand Islands Dressing. However,  for my homemade version that I am sharing with you here today, I am also adding cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar… just to kick it up a notch!  If you don’t have cider vinegar you may certainly substitute plain vinegar.  If you don’t have lemon juice, no problem, just don’t include it.!  This truly is a versatile little workhorse of dressings and plays a starring role in what makes the Reuben such a tasty sandwich.

So let’s get started with the dressing:

Thousand Islands Dressing
Thousand Islands Dressing

Thousand Islands Dressing:
1/3 c mayonnaise
3 tbs ketchup
2 tbs sweet pickle relish
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp apple cider (or plain) vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional)

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Stir well to blend.  Set aside while preparing sandwiches.

And now, for the Reuben…

Deli-Style Reuben Sandwich
Deli-Style Reuben Sandwich with Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut and Thousand Islands Dressing

Deli-Style Reuben Sandwich:

Per Sandwich:
2 slices rye or pumpernickel bread
4 oz. corned beef, thinly sliced
2 oz. swiss cheese, thinly sliced
2-4 oz. sauerkraut, heated (see *note)
Thousand Islands Dressing, above
1 tbs butter or olive oil, divided

Create sandwich by spreading Thousand Islands Dressing on one of the slices of bread.  Upon the dressing, layer the corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut.  Cover with remaining slice of bread and set aside while preparing the pan. Place butter or oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan and heat to medium, allowing butter or oil to heat through.  Place sandwich in pan, press down with spatula, and toast until golden brown on the underside (about 2 minutes).  Turn over with spatula and repeat with remaining side, toasting until golden and the cheese has melted.  Remove from heat and serve.

*Note – Personally, I like to gently heat the sauerkraut in a small saucepan ahead of time to ensure that it is nice and warm in my grilled sandwich, but this is entirely optional.

As always, thanks for stopping by.  For those of you who may have never tried this sandwich before, do give it a try… it is delicious.  And for those of you who, like myself,  consider this a personal favorite, be sure to treat yourself to this delicious and satisfying sandwich.

Until next time everyone…

May your plates be abundant and your house filled with love and happiness!