Sometimes one new great recipe can brighten up your whole repertoire of meals. With the change of seasons I’m always more aware of how boring our meals have become. Perhaps it’s the different light shed on the dinner table (daylight savings) or simply the glimmer of warmer weather just around the corner. For whatever reason, the hearty stews and hot meals just don’t feel right anymore. I’ve dusted off my cookbooks again in search for some lighter fare. In particular with the spring and summer months, fresh fruits and vegetables always seem to go over well.
A colleague of mine shared a new salad recipe with me this week. It felt like a ray of light amongst our usual selection of green salads and cooked veggies. All the ingredients were foods we regularly purchase but I had never put them together in quite this combination. It’s just another reminder to keep trying new things. The problem for most of us is finding the time and energy to flip through cookbooks, find something that looks good and then buy all the ingredients. You are probably better off to try swapping favorite recipes with friends and family. A friend of mine called last week with a fantastic idea. She decided to email her friends to ask them each to share one of their favorite recipes. Through email the recipes can all be attached together and everyone who participates ends up with a whole new list of “tested” recipes to try.
In this case, we all have young families so the recipes have to to be fast, easy, healthy and kid-friendly. Those are sometimes tough criteria to meet on your own! I’m looking forward to see what we can collectively come up with as a group. If all goes well I may even be able to post the recipes on my website to share with any other mom’s with a burnt-out recipe repertoire. In the meantime, seek out a new recipe for yourself. Take advantage of the wonders of technology and get a few people involved. We can all benefit from a few more ideas in the kitchen.
Here’s my new favorite salad. It goes great with a barbeque meal or leftover as a healthy lunch or snack. Enjoy!
Avocado Black Bean Mango Salad
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
0.5 cup Spanish red onion, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
12 oz can canned corn kernels, drained
1 red pepper, chopped
3 oz cilantro, chopped
2 avocadoes, peeled and chopped
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 small red chilli, finely chopped or 1 tsp crushed chillies (optional)
2 Tbsp lime juice
4 Tbs. olive oil
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Wisk together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour over salad and toss.
Heidi Smith is a consulting dietitian from the health and performance center at the University of Guelph. Her website is www.heidismithnutrition.com