Skip to main content

Fiesta Pasta Salad w Black Beans, Mango and Avocado

Spring forward ... Fall back. Setting the clocks ahead an hour can only mean one thing - Winter is almost over! I created this salad because I was craving something bright and fresh.  It was a nice change from the heavy, stick-to-the-rib meals we have been eating all winter. Have I ever mentioned how much I love mango? It just tastes like sunshine!

Fiesta Pasta Salad w Black Beans, Mango and Avocado
servings: 6 to 8

375 gr. box of whole wheat pasta ( I used penne but I might go with something a little smaller next time)
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 scallions, thinly sliced
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1 mango, peeled and diced
a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced ( add this right before serving)

juice and zest of one lime (about 1/4 cup of juice)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and let cool. Mix with the remaining salad ingredients. Toss with dressing. Season generously with salt and pepper. Chill for at least a couple of hours before serving. Add the avocado right before serving. Salad will keep well for a few days in the fridge

Recipe Source: Beer. Butter. Bacon

Tags: Pasta, Salad, Vegan

Popular posts from this blog

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones

Button bones are very similar to spareribs, but have a flat, circular bone. A quick Wikipedia check tells me that they are  taken from the bottom 5 or 6 bones located underneath the rib cage. I think button bones sound like something in a children's nursery rhyme - "Have you seen the button bones.. the button bones...the button bones... La La Laaaaa

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones
servings: 4
recipe source: Beer. Butter. Bacon

2 tsp. Sambal Olek
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper
1 lb. pork button bones
sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnishing
Pour all ingredients in a large plastic zip lock bag. Marinade in fridge 6-8 hours. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet 40-50 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Turn often during cooking.

Tags: Asian, Button Bones, Pork

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Traditionally, Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple dish made with heavy cream, lots of butter, lots of Parmigiano Cheese and pasta.  Delicious? Yes!   Figure friendly? No!   A couple of months ago, I would have had no problem inhaling a big bowl of this buttery, cheesy goodness, but times have changed and I am now really trying to be aware of every bite of food that I eat. Whenever I am contemplating eating higher calorie foods, I ask myself - " Is it worth the calories?" The answer is almost always no. I have discovered that I can make a healthier, lower calorie version of almost any dish that I am craving, that tastes just as good- if not better- than the original.

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic
serves: 3 to 4

1 tsp. olive oil
2 whole heads of garlic, roasted and peeled
4 oz. light cream cheese, cut into cubes ( let cream cheese come to room temp.)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano, plus extra …

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms

Pasta alla Carbonara - literally translated is"Coal Miner's Spaghetti" in Italian. Carbonara is a classic Italian dish  that is quick, relatively simple and requires only a few key ingredients; pasta, cured pork, eggs and cheese.
Timing is everything when it comes to making the perfect carbonara. Toss the hot pasta with the raw eggs and cheese, add a bit of the starchy cooking liquid and stir vigorously until a creamy sauce is achieved. This is the tricky part -  the pasta has to be as hot as possible, but removed from the heat or it will scramble the eggs. If the pasta isn't hot enough, the eggs won't be cooked and you will be left with a soupy mess. Salmonella is never a popular guest at a dinner party.

Have a hot date coming up? Pull this one out of your bag of tricks and you are going to look like a culinary rock star. Move over Mario Batali!

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms
(serves 2 -3)

3 strips center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 small…