Practical, healthful eating and living.

Show-Stopping Tomatoes in Balsamic Vinegar August 23, 2009

Refreshing, elegant and super easy.  This salad is the perfect addition to summer barbecues, or an upscale dinner.   The fresh herbs pack a flavor punch.  Said one friend, “It tastes like summer!”

I recommend serving this over corn bread (recipe below).  But this could be served alone.  Feel free to make it with or without any of the herbs.  Just use what you have on hand.


2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2/3 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives

3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons minced bell pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let stand for about 30 minutes while flavors blend.


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup milk

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.  Combine the flour, cornmeanl, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl; stir to blend.  Add the onions and garlic, stirring to coat with the flour mixture.  Make a well in the center; add the egg, oil and milk.  Stir quickly, just to moisten the dry ingredients.  Don’t overmix.  Spread the batter intot he prepared pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool before slicing.


  • Cut cornbread into squares, then slice each square in half horizontally, splitting the top from the bottom.  Place a dollop of sour cream on the bottom slice.  Top with tomato salad.  Place the top half of the corn bread over the tomato salad.  Spoon more tomato salad over the top, then add one more dollop of sour cream to top it off.
  • Use the tomato salad as an accompaniment to grilled steak, chicken or fish.
  • Use plain cornbread instead of mixing in green onions and garlic (such as what you’d find pre-made in a store.)

From: The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook


Black Bean Quesadilla August 9, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy — beansandyoga @ 10:09 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Black bean quesadillaOn the run, in need of an easy-to-carry backup lunch or snack as I embarked on a day that I knew would be unpredictable, this black bean quesadilla came to the rescue.

I love this because it’s easy.  I tend to keep all of the ingredients on hand, and it lasted just fine in my work bag until lunch.


1 large tortilla

1/2 black beans

2 Large spoon fulls of salsa

1/4 cup shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese

Mix the beans and salsa, adding more or less salsa to taste.

Place the tortilla in a large skillet on medium to high heat.  Spoon the black bean/salsa mixture onto one half of the tortilla, spreading it out evenly.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the beans/salsa mixture.  Fold the other half of the tortilla over the beans/salsa side, creating a half-moon shape.  Watch the heat carefully.  It needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese without being so hot that the bottom burns.

After a minute or so, carefully flip the quesadilla to cook the other side.  Heat for about one to two minutes.  Transfer to a plate and slice into sections.

Serve with freshly chopped cilantro, salsa, and sour cream.