Grilled Corn, Cilantro, & Black Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing

The other night I had this creative idea for turkey burgers. Instead of pairing the burgers with fries, I decided to go with a salad. I didn’t want a traditional leafy green salad, so I looked in my fridge at all the produce I bought this past weekend. I saw 4 ears of corn, Roma tomatoes, cilantro, red onions, and jalapenos. I went to my pantry and found a can of black beans. I searched around on Google for some recipes and after finding a few with these ingredients, I came up with the recipe below.

Not only is It refreshing, but very colorful and quick (less than 30 minutes). This is a great summer recipe and you can eat it warm or cold. It’d be a great side dish to bring to a picnic or BBQ.

INGREDIENTS

4 ears of corn

1 tablespoon of olive oil

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tsp jalapeno, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

FOR DRESSING

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat grill to high. Rub olive oil on the corn and grill, covered, for about 6-8 minutes. Continue to rotate the corn every 2 minutes for even cooking. Set aside to cool.(TIP: to get the corn cooked evenly, PRIOR to rubbing olive oil, wrap corn with damp paper towel and microwave two at a time for about 6 minutes. Let cool then rub the olive oil on the corn)

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

3. Slice the corn off the cob and place in a bowl. Add the chopped tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapenos, and black beans.

4. Add dressing and gently toss. Serve warm or cold.

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Crab Cakes with Aioli Dipping Sauce and Spring Mix Salad with Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette

So for the past few days I’ve been craving crab cakes with a simple salad. Perhaps it was because two weeks before I had the BEST crab cakes ever at Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant Red Rooster  in Harlem, NY. Seriously, the crab cakes were delicious and awesome. It was pure Blue Crab meat.

Well I decided I wanted crab cakes for dinner last night, so I made some. I also wanted a simple mixed green salad with a good vinaigrette and I created a Garlic Dijon vinaigrette. It went perfect with the crab cakes and added a spiciness to the salad. I also added shave carrot curls and sliced red onions to my salad. This whole meal is simple, light, and easy meal to make. All for under 30 minutes. Try it out!

CRAB CAKES

1 large egg

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

8 oz. Claw Crab meat (or any other kind of lump crab meat)

1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (I used Panko)

EASY AIOLI DIPPING SAUCE

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish mustard (I didn’t have horseradish mustard, so I used horseradish instead – still came out very tasty)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 dash kosher salt (optional)

GARLIC DIJON VINAIGRETTE

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Gently combine all ingredients for crab cakes. Shape into 4 cakes (use 1/4 cup to measure out evenly).

2. Pan fry in 1/4 inch oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

3. Mix all dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl until well combined. (You can make this ahead and refrigerate, if you want to.)

4. For salad dressing, add all ingredients into a jar and shake until emulsified. Pour over salad and toss.

Spinach Salad with Feta and Walnuts

Do you ever have those days that you just want to eat a salad? I’m not a big salad person, but from time-to-time, I’ll make sure to buy a bag of baby spinach or spring mix and throw random ingredients together with a homemade dressing.

Tonight I made a simple spinach salad with Feta crumbles and some glazed walnuts with a dressing made from olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. It turned out quite delicious and refreshing. Enjoy!

Yield: 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS for DRESSING

3/4 cup olive oil (use extra-virgin)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

INGREDIENTS for SALAD

6 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup Feta crumbles (Athenos is a great and affordable brand)

DIRECTIONS

Use a salad dressing mixer bottle and add all ingredients to it and shake until well combined.

NOTE: This dressing makes double the dressing you’ll need, so you can store it in the fridge and re-use it on another salad for the week.

Combine spinach, walnuts, and feta in a salad bowl and drizzle just enough dressing (to your liking). Toss and serve.

Pretty much you can always edit this recipe and add different nuts like pecans, pine nuts, or almonds. You can also add pear or apple slices. Or dried cranberries, blueberries, and raisins.