About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Salad Days

Topic for August 3 Fun Monday--favorite summertime dishes. Our host this week is Sayre over at Sayre Smiles . She invites us to share the recipe, or directions, for making a favorite quick and easy summertime dish. Anything goes--entree, vegetable, casserole, dessert. Well, excellent timing Sayre, because I'd just gotten in all the ingredients to try out a salad recipe that, from the way it read, was going to be a favorite. Made it this afternoon and bingo! It's easy, delicious, and healthy--Red Pepper Deli's Black Bean and Rice Salad.

One of the most enjoyable sections of The Courier-Journal, our local newspaper, is the Wednesday Cook's Corner. People enjoy a particular dish at a local eatery and start craving the recipe. The writer for this column has a great track record for wrangling recipes out of local chefs. This week it was all about salads. The local farmers' markets are exploding with the freshest vegetables of the season, the weather is hot and humid--perfect time to make salads. Cook's Corner featured three local salad recipes: Mama Grisanti's house salad, a chipotle chicken pasta, and black bean and rice salad from the Red Pepper Deli. All three were tempting, but I decided to try this one:

Red Pepper Deli's Black Bean and Rice Salad

1. Cook 2 C basmati (I used texmati) rice in 4 C water until al dente--only takes about 15 min., unlike long grain rice

2. Make dressing: combine 1 C apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp. grill seasoning, 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper, 2 tsp. garlic salt. Whisk in 2/3 C vegetable oil

3. Pour 1/2 of dressing over rice while still warm. Let rice cool.

4. Chop these vegetables in 1/2 in. dice: 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 2 tomatoes (seed and drain the tomatoes to keep salad from becoming watery), 1/2 C red onion

5. Drain liquid from 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinse to remove some of starch

6. In a LARGE bowl combine the chopped vegetables from step 4, black beans and 1 lb. frozen corn (you could use fresh corn--boil ears for only 1-2 minutes and then cut off cob) . Pour remaining 1/2 of dressing over vegetables. Marinate for about 1 hour.

7. Then carefully combine the rice and vegetables so you don't break up the beans or mush the rice.

8. Refrigerate for several hours to let flavors meld before serving.

9. Serves 6-8 generously as an entree salad. It would be a great salad for a picnic or cookout because there's nothing to spoil--good cold or room temperature. I served it with some plain mixed salad greens and simple grilled salmon. Delicious!

So, there you have it--my new favorite summertime dish. And, how I enjoy having something tucked away in the fridge so that cooking dinner requires no more effort than filling up a salad bowl and pouring up a glass of my best summer drink: an Arnold Palmer iced tea. That's simple too: just combine equal parts sweet tea and lemonade (I use Crystal Light country lemonade mix with an extra shot of fresh lemon juice). Add ice cubes and stir. Now dinner this easy leaves lots of time to go over to Sayre's place to check out other Fun Monday summertime favorites!

(Photo credit: Pam Spaulding, The Courier-Journal)


Janis said...

That sounds so delish and a refreshing dish for the summer. I am not familiar with that kind of rice though. I have heard of the Arnold Palmer tea though. Thanks for sharing Faye...Happy FM to you.

Faye said...

janis--basmati was new to me as well. Usually stick with Uncle Ben's long grain white or brown rice. Think the rice for this dish needs to be the short grain kind that cooks up a bit sticky--to soak up that good dressing.

The Church Lady said...

Faye, I don't believe I have ever had a rice salad. But after I read the recipe, my mouth started to water. This is one I will definitely add to my recipe collection.

Sayre said...

Oooo... that sounds delicious!!! I must try that one soon. Thanks for playing!

Karmyn R said...

Yum! This looks very tasty.

EastCoastLife said...

It looks tasty and seems easy to prepare.

As a Chinese, we are used to eating hot steaming meals but I would like to try preparing simpler dishes and save time for blogging. haha....

gracie said...

Now that look very very delicious and I will try it, I am always trying new recipes. love love basmati, smells so good. you can find basmati in sams club

karisma said...

Now that sounds very nice! I'm hungry now! LOL! I love basmati rice, yum yum yum!

Anonymous said...

Found you on Three Dog Blog and noticed your mention of Courier Journal. I live near Louisville and work the daily crossword puzzle and just recently have been rationed to one on several days a week. It had 2 puzzles for a long time. Stop by my neck of the woods sometime. I love the three been salad now to try it with rice.

Faye said...

church lady--another favorite rice salad is just rice and veggies(your favorites) dressed with Italian dressing and a bit of mayo.

sayre--good topic for Fun Monday. I'm learning about how much we have in common with our recipes.

karmyn--I received your e-mail with the postcarding link. Thanks.

eastcoastlife--agreed. Always a good idea to do whatever necessary to save time to blog! :-)

gracie--I must branch out and try honest to goodness basmati rice. Maybe my friend would loan me her Sam's card.

karisma--another basmati rice fan? You and Gracie must know something the rest of us don't know.

queenmother mamaw--welcome! What a nice surprise to find someone close to home through the blogosphere. Small world.

Gattina said...

Sounds delicious and easy to copy ! to your question : I don't make any difference between winter or summer vegetables. Maybe in winter more diferent cabbage sorts.

m (the misanthrope) said...

Hello my friend. I'm back and playing catchup. Fabulous recipe! As I said to Janis, when can I come over? I'll bring my own plate and napkin, and my appetite!

I was so very touched by your previous Fun Monday post, about your sister. I know what you mean about your "halo being crooked" but I'll tell you that my halo (or, in lieu thereof, my hat) is off to you. You have made the very best of a difficult situation, and you have been (and are being) there for someone who needs you.

I have always enjoyed your writing and have often suspected that we were long-lost sisters but...let me just say that I admire you even more now. I hope that if I were called upon to care for another person that way, that I could do it with the graciousness and generosity that you did.

And on a more urgent note - are you OK? I heard about flooding in Louisville yesterday?! Yikes!

Lane said...

This looks wonderful. I've never used black beans before, only black eye'd peas, so I'm interested to give this a go. Thanks Faye.

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