Inspired by a much loved Mexican Bean Salad, Once Upon a Chef has perfected her Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette, making it positively drool-worthy!

 

With warm temps outside, we’re up for any dish that doesn’t need the oven or stove; and who can resist a chance to eat up some of the season’s freshest ingredients?

 

Please click here to visit Once Upon a Chef and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: Healthy, fresh and delicious is always a key when trying new recipes! This hit the spot!

 

Details:

Get ready to chop…lots to chop, but well worth it.

  • I grilled the corn on the grill first then added it to the dish.
  • I used minced garlic out of the jar since I didn’t have any cloves.
  • I may add some green onions next time for some extra flavor.

bb salad 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Definitely get a juicer for the lime. I don’t have one, and that would have definitely been handy.

We enjoyed ours with some tilapia from the Blackened Tilapia Taco recipe!

 

 

Pros:

I had it marinate for an hour and it was still delicious so don’t hesitate to make it last-minute.

It’s even great the next day!

Cons:

Absolutely, none.

Kristy - BB Salad

Conclusion:

Mike and I both enjoyed!  It’s perfect as a side salad with a meal or great with tortilla chips as a dip!  I will definitely be making next weekend!!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: This recipe was a great way to attempt to get my hubby to eat black beans.

 

 

Details:

  • For the most part I followed the instructions from Once Upon A Chef exactly (minus the fact that I forgot to add the cilantro).
  • I did add a jalapeno for a little heat but that was the only change I made intentionally.
  • I did cut it in half since I am the only one that really loves beans in our house.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Definitely doesn’t make a great left over (gets very runny and strange-looking – although it still tasted pretty good but we eat with our eyes so who are we kidding here).

I could have cut the recipe down to just a ¼ but the thought of that math makes my head hurt.

 

Pros:

This would make a perfect accompaniment to add to a fish taco. You could whip up a batch of the fabulous Blackened Tilapia Tacos we reviewed a while back and add it to them. MMMM.

This is a great summer dish since produce is best this time of year and our markets seem to be overflowing with beautiful color. I tried this as a salsa too and it is great with chips!

Cons:

Really just the leftover thing. It just didn’t “look” like it would taste good the second day and I had to close my eyes to take the first few bites.

Amanda - BB Salad

Conclusion:

YUM. Two thumbs up! This is going straight into my recipe book. My gal pals will love it (even if my family wasn’t on board).

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission: The sight of this recipe made me drool. With 4th of July coming I was looking for a light side that will please the crowd.

 

Details:

The recipe is very easy to follow, basically just throw all the ingredients into a bowl (saving the avocado for last). Mix, chill, and serve.

  • I took a short cut and used frozen corn instead of cutting from the cob. I’m a sucker for a time saver. It gave me time to make my own pitas. They’re delicious and paired perfectly with this recipe.
  • I highly suggest letting the salad chill in the refrigerator for a while as suggested in the original post. Let the flavors come together

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Squeeze some lime juice on the avocado before tossing it in. It helps prevent them from browning.

Sheri - BB Salad 1

Pros:

Incredibly delicious and sure to please a crowd.

Cons:

I divided the recipe in half and really wish I had more.

Sheri - BB Salad

Conclusion:

I absolutely LOVED this recipe. It had many of my favorite ingredients. I’m avocado obsessed.

Paired with my homemade pita chips, I was all ready to enjoy my Saturday night. This recipe is definitely a winner and full of yummy goodness.

I know what I’m bring to this week’s 4th of July cookout!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: I could not wait to make this recipe, it’s right up my alley!  I am a lover of each and every ingredient in this salad.  Yum!

 

Details:

  • I don’t love red peppers, so I went with orange!
  • I used a 12 oz. bag of frozen sweet corn – worked like a charm!  I eat this brand all the time and I do feel like it’s crunchy and fresh tasting when allowed to thaw on it’s own.  I’m pretty sure that I used more than called for, but whatever, I love corn!
  • I went a little heavy on the lime juice and garlic.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

IMG_3476

I use lime juice in just about every recipe that we eat.  I love it!  Every couple of months, I buy a bag full of limes and take some time to squeeze them all, then pour the juice into ice cube trays so that I always have real lime juice when I need it.  Way better than the stuff you buy in the little plastic lime bottle at the store.

Enjoy with Xochitl tortilla chips.  They are the best!

If you’re chop-challenged, you can use a pizza cutter!

Pros:

I LOVE this salad so much!  I have made it 6 times and have ingredients in the fridge for more!  I eat it on chips, on it’s own, and have even added rotisserie chicken!

Cons:

Even though I am a huge lover of avocado, I actually liked this salad better without it.  Not really a con, but my own preference.

Maren - BB Salad

Conclusion:

This recipe is great.  It’s so fresh and light, perfect for summer noshing.

While I do prefer this salad without the avocado, it’s great with it, too!  Versatile and easy to make, this one was a fast favorite.

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sarah

Mission: I’m always on the lookout for easy and tasty recipes to prep for events. This one sounded like it was one of those, and in addition sounded healthy!

 

Details:

I modified this recipe from the start!

  • I decided to make it more of a chip dip vs. a salad. I picked up tortilla chips when gathering the ingredients to serve with the dip and it was a hit!!
  • Though I like to eat as many healthy fats as I can, I have never been a lover of avocado. I just can’t get used to the taste and texture, so I left them out of this recipe – I know, selfish! Though, in my case, it helped as I made this dip for two separate events where it would have been too difficult to add to the salad right before serving.
  • I really love a recipe that calls for ingredients I have on-hand. I had Iowa sweet corn from my parent’s farm in the freezer, mini sweet peppers and garlic in the fridge and sweet onions in the pantry, which I used instead of shallots. In addition, I already had all of the seasonings that were called for.
  • At the grocery store, I picked up the black beans, limes and cilantro and then got to work.
  • The only items I had to dice were the peppers, onion and garlic. And then I zested the limes with my handheld grater, which worked great!
  • To cut-up the cilantro, I used my kitchen shears and added closer to 3/4 cup to the mix.
  • After prepping, I let the dip sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours before attending each event I served this at.

It was a huge hit and was gone by the end of the night!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

chips_dip

Using a handheld grater to zest your limes works great – just watch your fingers!

Cut the sugar down to 1 tablespoon, or even omit altogether. In my opinion, it wasn’t necessarily needed.

If you make this as a chip dip, cut down the amount of olive oil added. I only used 6 tablespoons.

 

Pros:

Easy to make and oh so tasty! And, with the addition of the cayenne, it had a nice spicy kick!

Cons:

Honestly can’t think of any – loved it and will definitely make again.

Sarah - BB Salad

Conclusion:

Loved this dip! It was easy to modify for your own needs. Even my husband ate it and went back for seconds, and that’s saying something!

 

 BB Salad Conclusion


The gorgeous
Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette and it’s photo by Once Upon a Chef


read more

One More Moore has shared her favorite recipe for Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips.  Originally discovered at Allrecipes.com, this keeper has been in One More Moore‘s recipe book since!

Eager to munch on the seasons best fruit, we couldn’t test this recipe out fast enough!

Please click here to visit One More Moore and see the recipe that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Mandy

Mission:  Get back into healthy eating with a yummy “treat” I can’t resist.
 

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written minus the preserves as I forgot to pick that up at the grocery store.
  • Also, I didn’t get exact with the types of fruits they called for. Not a huge fan of kiwi so I substituted with others.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It was super easy and delicious so I didn’t really have much to change or learn. Maybe use it as a way to use the fruit in your kitchen that is getting over ripe. It all does blend together and maybe gets a little mushy so it’s perfect for using up fruit!

Pros:

Easy. Tasty. Crowd Pleasing.

Even my dad who doesn’t really like anything said “it’s OK.” (That’s GOOD in his book!)

Cons:

I don’t really have any.

It was a tad sweet so you may not need to use the sugars to sweeten it even more… although I’m sure they help with the juice that develops.

Conclusion:

Make it! Now!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: This twist on salsa looked sweet and refreshing. Something my kids would actually enjoy! I referred to the Annie’s Fruit Salsa recipe on Morgan Moore’s blog, One More Moore. Seven quick and easy ingredients and some dicing…I love dicing.
 

Details:

The ingredients:

  • 2 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 oz. raspberries
  • 1 lb strawberries, diced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp preserves

A no-brainer recipe – dice and combine.

The cinnamon chips were also quite simple. Just cut up flour tortillas, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, and bake them at 350° for about 10 minutes. Viola.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I can’t stand the look of browning apples. Just one of those things that will turn me off from consuming this delicious treat, so I used a lemon to help preserve them.

Pros:

Easy and delicious, and you can vary it with the fruits you have on hand.

Cons:

None!

 

Conclusion:

This recipe was super easy…that’s because I like dicing. If you don’t like chopping, then it’s not for you.

A great little tid-bit; if you don’t have the time to make your own cinnamon chips (although I do recommend you do) store-bought cinnamon pitas work just great with this salsa. It was devoured quickly and made the perfect dish to bring to the summer BBQ.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To whip up a yummy and mostly healthy snack with fruit I already have (that was my mission anyway).
 
 

Details:

I will admit that as usual I am trying to be all sorts of lazy thrifty here and I wanted to use fruit I already had at home instead of going out to hunt down what was used in the original recipe.

My fruit list looked a little like this:

  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Orange Marmalade (this I did buy)
  • I also halved the recipe because I know my kids are a bit picky and I didn’t want to end up having to eat the entire bowl myself! I was smart because of course they didn’t LOVE it. They tried it and ate a little but I mostly had to finish it. I tried to save it for the next day but the flavors got a little too intense.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I think pinapple would have been a great addition and I would stick with a strawberry or raspberry marmalade because the orange had a slightly bitter taste which I am pretty sure turned my kids off. Apples (which I didn’t use) would have added a nice crunch.

Pros:

It was fairly easy and definitely pretty.

Cons:

Because I tried to deviate a little it wasn’t as good and some got wasted.

Conclusion:

I would definitely try this again though and change up some of the ingredients. Maybe also change my tasters to adults instead of finicky little ones.

 

The gorgeous shot of Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips  captured by One More Moore


read more

Six Sisters’ Stuff tempt us with a recipe for Chili’s Copycat Salsa!

Our mouths were watering just thinking about this delicious snack!

 

Please click here to visit Six Sisters’ Stuff and see the recipe that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission:  I love Chili’s Salsa!  These instructions were super easy to follow.  I feel confident that even “College Maren” could have handled this recipe!  I did refer to the forwarding blog, Six Sisters’ Stuff, for more specific info on the jalapeno situation.

Details:

  • I wasn’t paying attention to the recipe and did not drain the tomatoes – ooops!  I think that this actually made the consistency looser though, which is what I was hoping for.  For my jalapenos, I used a full [4 oz] can of Ortega Japapenos, lightly drained.
  • The lime juice that I added was frozen ahead of time thanks to a pin that I saw on Pinterest!  That trick is great if you like to cook with lime juice, or add it to your drinks!  I actually used onion that I had chopped and froze a week or two earlier too.  I’m just discovering the miracle of “freezing.”

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The most important lesson learned from this experience, the ingredients absolutely DO NOT FIT into a Cuisinart Mini Prep.  I was too lazy to get out my full sized Cuisinart, and that was clearly the incorrect choice.

After my salsa explosion, I scooped out [and off the counter] half of the overflowing salsa and continued in half batches until I got a smooth, pureed consistency.  I then reflected upon how things would have gone differently had I just gotten out the G. D. Cuisinart.

Pros:

SUPER Easy and delicious!  Had some serious kick, but wasn’t too hot.  Works well in recipes and on it’s own.

Cons:

Requires a blender or food processor, both of which are heavy and in hard-to-get-at locations in my kitchen and therefore never get used.

Conclusion:

This salsa was ridiculously easy to make!  I fed it to my salsa-loving husband and he said, “It tastes like chili.  It’s good.”  Translation, “I taste the cumin.  I like it.”

Don’t be scared by his comment!  We partake in a chili cook-off with our college friends each fall.  In an overly competitive panic to submit the BEST chili, it is not uncommon for me to make several different kinds in the month preceding the event and feed them to my husband until he can hardly stand hearing the word “chili.”  Therefore, as we approach our fourth year, my husband has eaten more cumin…I mean chili, than the average Joe.  I didn’t think that it was overly cumin-y at all.

Since it’s just my honey and me in our home, I froze half of the salsa for another day!  Thawed it out and used it to make some chicken – it was great!  I also like knowing that there isn’t any weird shit in it that I don’t know about.  Love this salsa!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  I’ve spent many wonderful evenings catching up with girlfriends over a bowl of chips, Chili’s Salsa, and iced-cold Coronas. Now we all have kids and our get togethers are rare occasions. How great would it be to invite the girls over for some Copycat Chili’s salsa and chat time?

I referred to the Six Sisters’ Stuff blog for a copycat recipe, and it looked surprisingly easy.

Details:

I was at first a little saddened that there would be very limited chopping or dicing, and no fresh ingredients, but then again the recipe was SUPER easy and I had an entire batch of salsa done and to the table in five minutes. You literally just put the ingredients into a blender or food processor and press the button. It’s ridiculously simple.

I chose to use the blender because my food processor is too small. I tossed in the whole tomatoes, canned jalapenos, and onion. I added the salt, sugar, cumin, and lime juice then just hit the button briefly. DONE.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

1.) Wash your hands immediately after touching jalapenos. Do. Not. Touch. Your. Eyes!

2.) A blender might not be the right choice. Complete puree. You would have thought I used tomato sauce instead of whole tomatoes.

Pros:

This can be put together so fast! So, so fast. You can have this all done and cleaned up in a matter of ten minutes. The flavor is pretty darn close to Chili’s salsa.

Cons:

It is definitely on the soupy puree side, and I prefer a chunky salsa. I don’t recall Chili’s salsa being so soup like.

 

Conclusion:

If you can use a can-opener and press a button YOU can make this salsa. I personally thought there was a little more cumin than I remember Chili’s salsa tasting like. I would adjust that a bit next time. I also don’t remember Chili’s salsa being so soupy, but that was most likely my mistake for using the blender. I’ll just have to add some ice and vodka and have a spicy bloody mary instead.

 

 

The lovely photo of Chili’s Copycat Salsa taken by Six Sisters’ Stuff


read more


%d bloggers like this: