Tag Archives: Texas

Fiesta Black Bean & Corn Salad

5 Jul

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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place tortilla strips evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Bake tortillas until the slightly curl on the edges and are crisp. Around 6 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, and toss until combined.
  5. In a blender or food processor add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Right before serving garnish salad with tortilla strips, add dressing and toss.

Turkey Chili

30 Oct

I live in Texas, where chili is an art. The following recipe that I call chili is not what most Texans call chili. For a full definition of Texas chili talk to my friend Robert, he is a self proclaimed Chilivangelist. So if you are looking for a traditional Texas chili check out Roberts recipe, if you are looking for a belly warming, healthy, delicious turkey chili; keep reading.

I adore loads of fresh veggies in just about everything I make and chili is no exception. I use a combination of serrano, jalapeno, poblano and multicolored bell peppers. Completing the fresh veggie mix are onions and garlic.

I saute the veggie mix in olive oil till the veggies are softened.

Next I add the ground turkey, for chili I use a turkey that is 85/15. I feel that if you use a turkey more lean than that, the chili will loose some of it’s “meatiness”.

When the turkey has browned I add my special chili spice mix. I guess it’s not really that special but I like the combination. I use a New Mexico chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, and salt.

Now it’s starting to look and smell like chili!

For the tomatoes I insist on using only Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, they are by far the best tasting canned tomatoes. Now for the controversial ingredient, beans. I use beans in my chili, I am not a natural born Texan and therefor I find it acceptable and delicious to add beans to my chili.

I let all these wonderfully delicious flavors marry for about 30-45 minutes on medium-low heat. This is the perfect amount of time to bake some cornbread.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking I add in a can of sweet corn. This may not be what Texans call chili, but it is a favorite in my house.

Jen’s Turkey Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 poblano peppers, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

4 serrano peppers, diced

4 jalapeno peppers, diced

1 pound ground turkey, 85/15

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons cayenne

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon oregano

2 14.5 oz. cans Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes

2 14.5 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 14.5 oz. can sweet corn, drained

  1. In a large heavy bottom stockpot heat olive oil, add onions, garlic, and all peppers to hot oil. saute on medium-high heat for around 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Crumble ground turkey into pot, breaking up turkey into small pieces as it browns. Cook turkey for aproximatley 10 minutes, till brown.
  3. Add spices to the pot, combining them completely. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in tomotoes and beans. Stir together and cover the pot. Cook for 30 miuntes over medium-low heat.
  5. Uncover pot and add in the can of corn and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes more.
  6. Serve with cornbread.