Doesn’t that look delicious? It’s coming into summer, the weather is warming up and it’s time to start thinking about salads. This is one of my favourites, a spicy corn, avocado and bean salad. The spice is from the zingy dressing. It’s chock full of vegetables and is just so yummy! My kids aren’t fans of anything too spicy and my husband has a limit on how many beans he eats – they’re not his favourite – but they’ll all give this a go… and I get plenty of leftovers to eat for the next couple of days. It’s so easy to make and such a crowd pleaser… and it’s also a very BIG salad, that’s my pasta serving bowl right there.
4 corn cobs, husk and silk removed
2 x 400g cans of black beans, drained and rinsed – red kidney beans are great, too
2 small avocados, cut into chunks
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g feta, crumbled
5 shallots, roughly chopped
lime cheeks to serve (optional)
Chilli and lime dressing
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
grated rind and juice of 2 limes
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp red vinegar
2 tsp ground cumin
Cook corn in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again.
Slice lengthways down the corn cobs to remove kernels. Place in a large bowl with beans, avocado, tomatoes, feta and onion. Gently toss to combine.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season as required, Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve with lime cheeks, if using any.
I hope you enjoy it. I’m off to decide whether I cajole the children to eat any or just sit down with the bowl and a big smile.
What is it about kids and vegetables? Mine are usually pretty good but every so often they hit a stage where the only vegetables they want to eat are potatoes and tomatoes – and, yes, I know tomatoes are technically fruit. Of course the only way they intend to consume these two vegetables are in the good old “hot chips with tomato sauce.” The husband and I have a bit of a weakness for this, too, so we do understand – especially if the chips have a healthy dose of chicken salt on them! – but it’s not exactly what I plan to feed my children every night. Having said that, they’d love it.
The vegetable they’d probably most turn their nose up at though is spinach. I would have picked brussel sprouts myself, but since I don’t recall ever having bought them I guess it’s no surprise that they’re not on their radar. But spinach… the name just sounds gluggy and horrible, doesn’t it? I’ve been making a fettuccine with creamy spinach sauce for years and the kids used to screw their noses up a little but they’d still give it a bit of a go. Then I used a trick I’m sure my mother used on me, I renamed it.
We no longer have “Fettuccine with Creamy Spinach Sauce” in this house. Instead we have “Shrek Pasta.” This is a top secret recipe that I got from Princess Fiona herself and it is the key to keeping Shrek’s skin that awesome shade of green – he eats three bowls of it a day. Now my kids have tried and tried but even after eating their third bowl we’re yet to see their skin change colour, but we’ll keep on trying… and maybe you’d like to try, too. It’s a really simple recipe that can be made in about 20 minutes so it’s great on those nights when you’ve had to dash from the school run to ballet to swimming and then home with tired, hungry children.
- A packet of fettuccine
- A can of Light and Creamy evaporated milk
- A box of frozen chopped spinach
- A clove or two of garlic, crushed
- Half an onion, diced
- A couple of tablespoons of butter
- Around three or four tablespoons of flour
- A cup or so of grated cheese
- A little extra milk
- Put a pot of water on to boil while you defrost the spinach in the microwave, squeeze excess water from it
- When the water is boiling add the fettuccine, stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking
- Prep the rest of the sauce ingredients while the pasta cooks – crush the garlic, dice the onion, grate the cheese
- Drain the fettuccine when cooked, leave it in the colander and put the pan back on the stovetop
- Add the butter, garlic and onion to the pan and reduce heat to medium
- Add the flour and stir together to form the base of the sauce
- Add evaporated milk and stir/whisk. If it is a bit thick then add some extra milk to thin it down a little
- Add the grated cheese and stir/whisk
- Add the spinach and stir through
- Mix the fettuccine through the spinach sauce and remove from the heat
It really is quick and simple and I’m yet to meet a child who won’t take on the Shrek challenge. I may have told at least one of my children they were getting a green tinge around the cheekbones as they ate their third bowl but it didn’t put them off!
PS Guess what the kids are having for dinner tonight? 🙂