Spicy Black Bean and Bulgur Salad

Black Bean Bulgur Spicy Corn Salsa Salad

This was another easy to prepare and flavorful salad I made ahead for some company coming over for brunch.

In the morning, I added 1 cup of boiling water to 2/3 cup of bulgur in a one quart plastic bowl with a lid. I sealed the lid and left for later. In a few minutes the wheat absorbed all the water and it was ready. I stuck it in the fridge for later when I would mix up the salad.

I drained a 15 oz can of black beans, rinsing all the liquid off and let them drain in a strainer while I chopped up the veggies.

I chopped 3 green onions, 1/2 of a red pepper and a bunch of cilantro. I also quartered 8 cherry tomatoes. I mixed them all in with the bulgur, added the beans and 1 cup of corn salsa. I squeeze 2 fresh limes, added a dash of salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp of cumin and it was ready for prime time.

It’s a flavor fiesta – spicy, sweet, crunchy and toothsome. The corn salsa adds just the right amount of heat. This made one quart of salad – all in the original container – so it also meant very little cleanup – a strainer and a knife.

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Brussels Sprouts with Corn Salsa and Caramelized Onions

Brussels Sprouts with Corn Salsa

 

This is almost too easy to be a real recipe. I chopped up about 2 TBSP of red onions and sautéed in 1 TBSP of olive oil. When they caramelized, I added 5 brussels sprouts that I had chopped up. I sautéed just until warm and added 2 TBSP of Trader Joe’s Tomatoless Corn Salsa. The corn adds crunch and sweetness, the salsa has a sweet/hot flavor and the brussels sprouts provide a hearty base. It was delicious.

Lettuce Salad with Corn Salsa Vinaigrette

Lettuce Salad with Corn Salsa Dressing

I always check the specials when ordering my groceries for home delivery. This last week, Safeway gave away a free large package of precut lettuce salad with carrots and cabbage just for typing in a code during checkout.  Normally, I prefer romaine to iceberg, but I don’t hate iceberg lettuce and free is free. For this salad, I put a handful of salad mix in a bowl after rinsing and squeezing it dry. I don’t know if it’s the plastic bag or the water the salad is prepped in, but there’s an unpleasant flavor to bagged lettuce that improves with a quick rinse.

The salad mix is the bed for this salad and I layered on a few additions. I put about 1 TBSP of black beans I had drained and rinsed. I also added 2 tsp of sliced black olives. I grated 1 oz of pepper jack cheese using a larger grater.

Now it is time for the dressing. Trader Joe’s makes this phenomenal corn & chili salsa without tomatoes. It’s amazing! I thought I could make a decent salad dressing by mixing 1 TBSP of corn salsa with 2 tsp of olive oil and 2 tsp of white vinegar. I added a bit of salt because the salsa is a tad sweet. I dressed the salad and peppered to taste.

This is an easy salad and has a great flavor. The cheese adds a mellow creaminess that contrasts nicely with the sweet heat of the salsa vinaigrette. The beans and corn make it a bit toothsome and the olives add an earthy base.

Corn Chickpea Confetti

Corn & Chickpea Confetti Casserole

I drained and washed a small can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and lightly toasted them in a skillet. While it was toasting, I cut up a small onion, 4 oz. of roast beef from a roast I had made a zucchini, a summer squash and a red pepper. When the chickpeas were lightly toasted, I set them aside for a bit in a bowl, while I added a teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and tossed in the onions and let them soften. I then added 1 cup of Trader Joe’s Corn Salsa without Tomatoes and the other vegetables and the beef I had cut up and gently mixed together and continued to let them cook with the lid on until the veggies were cooked tender. I added the chickpeas, stirred together and served. This made 4 servings as it seemed silly to use only a quarter of a can of beans.

You can easily leave the beef out and make this a vegan side dish.