It is summer in Texas, which means it rarely dips below 100 degrees around dinnertime. Because of this heat and the abundance of fresh organic veggies from our garden, we eat salads more nights than not during summer.
I have been experimenting with salad dressings. I have been trying to make them healthier but also more flavorful. Finding the right ratio of flavors can be tricky, it is a trial and error process. The first experiment for a zesty dressing for this salad was a big fail, but I gave it another go and I found success!
I used red bell peppers, red cabbage, red onion, jicama, and romaine for the base of the salad. Then added corn and black beans, baked tortilla strips as garnish and a creamy spicy cilantro dressing t0 bring the whole salad together.
Fiesta black bean and corn salad
serves 4 entree salads
- 6 cup romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup jicama, julienned
- 2 cup fresh corn, boiled or roasted on the grill ( removed from cob)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 5 corn tortilla, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 jalapeno, to taste
- 1 cup cilantro
- 3 limes, juiced
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt 0%
- 4 drops liquid stevia or any sweetener to taste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place tortilla strips evenly on baking sheet.
- Bake tortillas until the slightly curl on the edges and are crisp. Around 6 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, and toss until combined.
- In a blender or food processor add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Right before serving garnish salad with tortilla strips, add dressing and toss.
This bulgur recipe is another Lebanese recipe that I picked up from my fiance’s Mom, Mona. This an quick and easy dinner that is super tasty and loaded with fiber.
Bulgur is wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It has a tender but chewy texture, that makes it great in pilafs. Bulgur has more fiber and protein than white rice. I used a coarse #4 bulgur in this recipe. Bulgur is graded for 1-4, 1 being the finest grain and 4 being the coarsest. In tabbouleh you would use the #1 or fine grain.
This recipe takes less than 30 minutes. The only complicated part is the seasoning. I use a spice called Sweet Pepper, it is also called Bhar Helou. It is not easily found here in the states, I have not been able to find it anywhere. But as luck and the internet would have it I found a recipe for this spice mix. As with any spice mixes, make a big batch and save it in a jar for up to a year.
You can serve this bulgur pilaf a variety of ways. Traditionally it is served with Lebanese yogurt or even dried yogurt. But I like mine with sriracha and Greek Fage yogurt.
Can you believe Daniel likes it with ketchup.
Bulgur Pilaf with Ground Turkey
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 cup coarse bulgur (#3 or#4)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sweet pepper *
1 teaspoon cumin
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup of corn
2 tablespoon tomato paste
- Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat, till golden.
- Add ground turkey and cook until meat is completely browned.
- Add salt, sweet pepper and cumin, stir until completely combined.
- Add bulgur, cook bulgur till lightly browned, approximately 2 minutes.
- Pour water into pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium.
- Cook, covered for about 12 minutes, or until bulgur has absorbed all the water.
- Uncover, and add corn and tomato paste. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve plain, with lebne, sriracha, or Greek yogurt.
*Sweet pepper spice mix
- 1 Tbsp allspice
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cloves
- 1 Tbsp fenugreek
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
Mix all spices together thoroughly. Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a year.