Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Everyday I wake up asking myself how I can dream myself, no, that's not it. Everyday I wake up asking myself how I can incorporate more veggies and fiber into my diet. This colorful salad is a great way to do that. My aunt made this for me many years ago. It was the first time I tried black beans and realized they wouldn't kill me! Putting this salad together today made me long for warmer weather and the Farmer's Market. I love the Farmer's Market. I love the sights and sounds and smells....oh the smell of those little fried doughnuts. You just can't beat that smell! Oh, sorry about that. Stay away from the little fried doughnut stand. They are the devil! This year I will avoid the little fried doughnut stand and the eggroll stand and head straight to the vegetables! I promise.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

The list of ingredients are as follows: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, juice of 1 lime, a can of black beans, a can of corn, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Start by chopping the red pepper. I like to slice it down the middle, take out all the innards, slice into spears and then chop. Always remember to slice your peppers with the skin side down on the cutting board. Slicing thru the skins is tough.

Repeat with the green pepper.

No, that is not blood from a slaughtered animal on my cutting board. It's from the red bell pepper, do not worry. You'll need roughly 1/2C. diced red onion in this salad. If you're a rebel and would like to deviate be my guest. I'm not the one who will be kissing you good-night!

Throw it all into a bowl, stand back and marvel at the beautiful colors! Why not, nobody's watching. It's hard to find moments that bring me as much joy and happiness as bright, colorful food that's actually good for me. Please don't take away the only good thing I have left in my life.

Have you ever minced a garlic clove? Have you ever watched Rachel Ray? Then this is old news to you. For those of you living under a rock I will explain how I like to peel my garlic cloves. Take one clove from the head of garlic and set onto the cutting board with the flat side down. Take your knife and lay the blade flat onto the clove. Then, with Jackie Chan strength and ease...

...slam the heel of your palm down onto the blade of your knife. For the love of everything holy, please be careful. Don't slam your hand so hard the blide shifts and you slice off a chunk of your hand. Once you've smashed the garlic clove it will easily slide out of the skin. Then you can take your knife and mince the garlic. I like my pieces small, but mince to your own desired taste.

Throw the garlic into the bowl and grab your lime. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice out over the bowl. If your lime is hard you can microwave it for a few seconds to heat up the juices. I always roll my citrus on the counter a time or two before juicing.

Next we'll add the olive oil. I know you're wondering where the olive oil picture is, aren't you? I'm wondering the same thing actually. It was here a minute ago. I have faith that you can measure and pour 1/4c. olive oil without the use of a picture. One thing I do want to add is that you can greatly reduce the amount of oil you use in this recipe without changing the taste. If you're doing Weight Watchers the oil really packs on the points. Take my word for it, you don't need this much oil.

Next is the red wine vinegar. The date on my bottle of vinegar said best if used by 9/12/2006. I decided to use it anyway. It had never been opened. I think I bought it back in 2005 to make this very recipe and just never got around to it. No wonder my butt is so big.

And now for the corn. I used canned. If you want to use frozen I'd say go for it but make sure it is completely thawed. You do not want to be biting into a frozen kernel of corn! If you have a hard time deviating from the recipe and you use the can make sure to drain it before dumping the corn into the bowl.

Make sure you rinse and drain your black beans. Have you ever seen the slug black beans are canned in? Yuck! Don't do it. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Your belly will thank you.

Mix it all together, salt and pepper to taste and there you have bean and corn salad. If you're doing Weight Watchers this recipe, as written, has 4pts. per 1C. serving. Like I mentioned, lower the points by lowering the olive oil. You could easily make this in smaller batches as well. Just adjust the recipe accordingly. I put this in a salad with grilled chicken breast today and it was delish! I have also eaten it as a side dish. I think it would be good as a salsa/relish with some baked chips. You could kick it up a notch and add some heat. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2C. red onion, diced

1 can corn, drained

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4C. olive oil

4T. red wine vinegar

1t. lime juice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine peppers, onion, corn and garlic. Add olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add black beans and toss well. Serve.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The ceremonial first post

Hi. I'm a fat girl. I’m fat. Obese. Roly-Poly. Chunky. Big boned. Pleasantly Plump. Find a term that works for you and use it. I prefer fat, but call it what you want. I recently read a heart breaking post on a website I frequent. It was a cry for help from a young, overweight mother totally struggling with her lack of weight loss. It really spoke to me, so I decided to do what any other woman in her 30’s with two small children, a husband, part time job and endless domestic responsibilities would do…I started this blog.

I decided to start this blog for many different reason . 1. I love to write. I really do. I always have. I have wanted to do something with my writing almost my entire life. And now, thanks to Al Gore, I have that opportunity. Thank you Al for inventing the internet. Side Note: Al Gore lovers and supporters please don’t be offended. I have nothing against Al Gore or anyone named Al really. Honestly, he did a great job with Slick Willy, whom I love and adore! This isn’t the place for political debates. This is about food and being fat, let’s move on. So I love to write. I don’t pretend to be good at it; I just know I enjoy doing it. So, reason #1 to start a blog….I write.

So now that I have tapped into my passion of writing the question is what do I write about? This is where being fat comes into play. How about I write about being fat and my journey to be, well, not so fat? Sounded good to me. I’m guessing you all would say the number one reason why you’re fat is because of what you eat. Whether it is the kind of food or the quantity of food, it all boils down to food. Which brings me to addiction #2. I am addicted to FOOD! Not just eating it, but cooking it, reading about it, watching other people cook and eat it. If it has to do with food I’m so there! I absolutely love to cook. I hate figuring out what to cook, but I love the process. I love chopping and mincing and dicing and slicing and grating and mixing and scooping and measuring…I love it all. I especially love it when I make something my entire family will eat. That doesn’t happen very often, sadly. I’m sure you mom’s of picky eaters can relate. So, I thought I might incorporate into this blog my love of food. I know there are several blogs that touch on this subject and one I particularly love. But quite honeslty, to a fat girl, her cooking blog, is quite literally the devil! That’s all I’m going to say about that. Believe it or not this food addiction leads right into #3 on my list….photography.

I love, love, love to take pictures. Sad thing is I really suck at it. I shake and can’t get things into focus. If you’ve been in a picture I’ve taken chances are you’ve had your head chopped off or an arm and foot or some extremity. So, if you can be patient with me while I work on my photography skills I will post random pictures well, randomly. How about that?! I just joined a photography group and hope to actually make it to a meeting one of these days. So there is a possiblity my photography skills could possibly get better!

In a nutshell, I want this blog to be real. I want you to realize that I too face the same challenges you face each and everyday. You are not alone. I also need to know that I am not alone. This requires interaction. I want to know you’re out there. If you have a great recipe you want me to try, let me know what it is and I will try it. We can lose the weight; learn to cook healthy, nutritious foods together! What are friends for after all?