Well, if you saw yesterday’s recipe, you know where the idea for this side dish came from. I ended up with leftover mixture of beans, corn, and green chiles when I made the Southwestern Style Egg Muffins yesterday. And it’s not like I’m gonna throw something like that away!
I ended up drizzling the mixture with a bit of olive oil, added some fresh chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. The result? A perfect side dish made almost entirely of things I found in my pantry. Well, the corn came from the freezer, but you know what I’m saying.
So I decided that although this was kind of an accidental recipe, it would be a great idea to share it with the rest of you. It never hurts to have a few simple, delicious, and nutritious side dish ideas stored in the back of your head (and your pantry)!
Canned beans are a great thing to keep on hand, and I almost always have at least a few varieties knocking around my pantry. Frozen corn is another staple at our house, although I never buy canned corn. Frozen corn just tastes so much better than canned, and if you keep it in a Ziploc freezer bag, you can take out small quantities as you need it.
One of the best ways to dress up canned and frozen items is to pair them with fresh herbs. There’s no shame in relying on canned goods from time to time, but there’s no reason why your meals should taste like they came from the pantry!
If you’re new to using fresh herbs, flat leaf Italian parsley is a great place to start. Parsley will stay fresh for weeks if you wrap it in a paper towel and store it in a plastic bag, so it’s really easy to keep on hand at all times. Plus, it’s usually the least expensive of the fresh herbs. If there’s one thing I learned from living in Sicily, it’s that a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley can really brighten up the flavor of just about any dish!
You might have noticed that my other favorite herb is cilantro, and that’s what I used in this dish. Although cilantro isn’t as hardy as parsley, there are ways to store it that will prolong it’s life. I know that many people have a problem with cilantro, as it is definitely one of those herbs that most either love or hate. If you can’t handle cilantro, you can generally substitute parsley in my recipes, including the one below. Cilantro pairs well with fresh lime juice (lemon, too), which is why I suggest it with the black beans and corn.
Black Beans and Corn with Green Chiles
1 can (15 oz) of black beans
1 cup of frozen corn kernels
1 small can (4 oz.) of chopped green chiles (I used the fire roasted kind)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh, chopped cilantro
pinch of kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
fresh lime or lemon juice (optional)
Pour can of beans into a strainer set over the sink; add frozen corn to the beans in the strainer. Run warm water over the beans and corn until the beans are well-rinsed and the corn is mostly thawed. Put beans, corn, and chiles into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave on high, just until warmed through. Add olive oil, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add a quick squeeze of lime or lemon juice, if desired. Stir again, and serve.
Yield: four servings, as a side dish
For those of you just tuning in this month, I’m happy to say that I’m participating in the National Blog Posting Month challenge. For this year’s edition of NaBloPoMo, I’ve pledged to post a new recipe every single day for the month of November. If you don’t want to miss a recipe, sign up to receive my recipes by e-mail. You’ll only receive an e-mail when I write a new blog post, and your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose. Interested? Sign up now!
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