The Weekend Gourmet: Taking #SundaySupper Outdoors With a Fun Picnic…Featuring Spicy Pinto and Black Bean Salad with Roasted Corn and Avocado F

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Taking #SundaySupper Outdoors With a Fun Picnic…Featuring Spicy Pinto and Black Bean Salad with Roasted Corn and Avocado


A simple al freco dinner...featuring Spicy Pinto and 
Black Bean Salad with Roasted Corn and Avocado. 
The theme for this week’s edition of #SundaySupper is What Does Sunday Supper Mean to You and Your Lifestyle? To me, spending time relaxing with Michael while we enjoy Sunday dinner is a nice way to wrap up the weekend. It's also a good time to discuss the upcoming week's activities. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal -- the most important thing is that we share the meal together! Occasionally, we like to enjoy our dinner al fresco by heading outside for a picnic. Granted...Summer isn’t the ideal time for dining outside in Texas, but it CAN be done with a little bit of planning. Today, I'll show you how to plan a simple al fresco meal that can stand up to the Summer heat.

First, don’t plan your outing for the hottest part of the day...wait until later in the day, when the temps cool off a bit as the Sun sets. Even better, find a location that’s under a tree or covered sitting area that allows for a bit of shade and a nice breeze. To further beat the heat, wear lightweight,  light-colored clothes. By following these simple tips, you may be a bit warm...but the heat shouldn’t be unbearable. Make sure to keep the meal light and refreshing too: chilled salads, fresh fruit, and plenty of cold beverages are your best bets for Summer outdoor dining.

Second, don’t let the menu stress you out: the focus of the meal is spending time together! The menu should be fuss-free and simple -- but that doesn’t mean it has to be plain or boring! I like to bring components that can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. For the menu I’m sharing today, I wanted to feature a healthy easy-to-tote salad. Ideally, I wanted a dish that could be eaten alone or paired with a few store-bought components to create a light and easy meal. I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for when I stumbled across a recipe for a bean and corn salad with avocado at Cooking Light’s website.

This salad is substantial enough to eat on its own, but it’s versatile enough to be eaten several different ways! Check out this menu: Spicy Pinto and Black Bean Salad with Roasted Corn and Avocado, grilled chicken breast, salsa-ranch dressing, tortilla chips, and my favorite bakery cookies. These components give you lots of meal options: wrap sandwiches, chips and salsa, and a veg-friendly main dish salad for starters. This flavorful salad takes about 30 minutes to assemble, but it needs to chill for a few hours. I made the base of the salad the night before, but waited to add the avocado until just before serving.

Spicy Pinto and Black Bean Salad 
with Roasted Corn and Avocado
adapted from Cooking Light

Step 1: Place a grill pan on the stove over med-high heat. Let the pan heat for 5-6 minutes while you prep the veggies. Liberally rub two shucked ears of corn with olive oil. Grill the corn for about five minutes per side, until it is cooked and some of the kernels are browned.


Step 2: Remove the corn from the pan and immediately wrap in foil so it can steam and finish cooking. While the corn rests, add three thick slices of purple onion and one jalapeno to the hot grill pan -- you will likely need to add a bit more oil to keep them from sticking. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until the pepper is blistered and the onion has grill marks.


Step 3: Set the onion and jalapeno aside to cool. Add the following ingredients to a large mixing bowl: 1 can drained pinto beans, 1 can drained black beans, 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved), and 2 sliced green onions. Using a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the corn...add to the bowl. Chop the onions, and seed and dice the jalapeno...add those to the bowl too.


Step 4: Make a dressing by combining the following ingredients in a measuring cup: 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of one large lime, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. dried cilantr0, 1 tsp. chile powder, 1 tsp. cumin, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Stir well to evenly coat everything with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Just prior to serving, dice one avocado on top of the salad and squeeze with the juice of an additional lime.


This salad is really fantastic! The roasted corn and grilled onion pair nicely with the beans, the tomatoes and zesty dressing bring a bit of brightness, the jalapeno brings just enough heat, and the avocado is creamy and cooling. I loved eating this salad on its own, but it was also tasty scooped with tortilla chips! This recipe makes quite a bit of salad, so it would be perfect for Summer potlucks or parties.

#SundaySupper is a fantastic group of food bloggers who share a common bond: we're all passionate about keeping the tradition of the family meal, whether your family is big or small. Merrell is a supporter of our #SundaySupper mission, and they're partnering with us this week for a fun giveaway. If you're not familiar with Merrell, they sell shoes, clothing, and other items that support an active, outdoor lifestyle. They’re teaming with 10 #SundaySupper bloggers -- including me -- to give away some of their products! The product that I’m giving away is from their Barefoot line of shoes. The specific shoe that I'm giving away is the Women's Barefoot Life Delight Glove Wool. These cute shoes come in three colors, and they look so comfortable! 

If you want to win a pair of these shoes (a $100 value!), here’s what you need to do:

(1) First, leave me a comment below letting me know what #SundaySupper means to you and your lifestyle. 

(2) You also need to take part in today’s #SundaySupper Twitter chat at 700CST. In order to win the shoes, you must comment AND take part in the Twitter chat! The winner will be announced on Monday. Please note that the giveaway is for U.S. residents only...

You can follow Merrell on Twitter @merrelloutside and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/merrell. While you're at it, please stop by and check out all the delicious food that my fellow #SundaySupper bloggers are sharing today! Merrell has chosen 9 other bloggers to host a giveaway on their site, so stop by to see all the fantastic items that are being offered.
In addition, check out these great #SundaySupper recipes:


54 comments:

  1. I need to stop coming onto your blog when I am hungry!!! I lived in San Antonio for a few years and as a Cali girl I at first found it really hard to find ways to enjoy the outside during the summer. But once I got more familiar with the area I found that there are lots of places I could go that would still be fun in the summer. I now miss going to Austin, floating down the river and exploring the Hill Country. It is possible to enjoy the outdoors in Texas and with dishes like this on hand it would be even more enjoyable. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, I'm a native Texan...and summer is still hard to adjust to after 40+ years! When did you live in SA? I've been here since 2000, but Houston is "home" to me.

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  2. You make the best salads, Wendy, and this one is no exception! I love that you find a way to dine outside even with your Texas heat...makes dinner so much fun! Great #SundaySupper post, my friend!

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    Replies
    1. We acclimate to the heat over the course of the summer...it gets old staying inside all the time, so we do get out some!

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  3. Sounds like a keeper, Wendy! I love black beans!

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    Replies
    1. I had never seen a recipe with pinto and black beans, so that was a nice change. The original recipe has red beans too, but I thought two types was enough...

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    2. oops, I forgot my twitter handle for tweetchat is @writelane sorry Wendy!

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  4. I tried to reach in my screen and grab a chip to load it up with this beautiful and delicious salad. I'm bookmarking this recipe.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you like it...it's been popular with every who has tasted it!

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  5. This salad is perfect as a accompaniment to dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did...it reminded me a bit of a corn and black bean salsa I make, but a little fancier b/c of the roasted veggies.

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  6. I love the idea of a family picnic and can totally relate to it since we do that all the time in Summer!Lovely tips here and this salad is just awesome!I love the different textures and flavors coming together here :)

    "#SundaySupper to me means creating long lasting memories with some quality time with loved ones around the dinner table!@sonisfood"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really big on pretty colors and lots of contrasting flavors/textures in my food!

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  7. #SundaySupper to me is enjoying the company of family and friends, winding down the week with lots of food and drink. I love to cook large meals. Look so scrumptious. Cindy Brickley at cjbrick@ymail.com See ya at 7:00

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    Replies
    1. This makes a LOT of salad...I took some to work for a potluck, and we still had plenty for at least two meals. It seems to keep 2-3 days in the fridge as well...just add avocado as you serve it to keep it pretty!

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  8. This salad looks delicious! So fresh and summery!

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    Replies
    1. It is so good that I had it for lunch yesterday...just add fresh avocado as necessary to keep it from turning brown!

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  9. The salad is beautiful, and sounds delicious. I am a new follower on GFC. Patsy

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Patsy...I hope you'll find some recipes you can use and say hi when you can! Make sure to come to the Twitter chat at 700EST for a chance to win those fab Merrell shoes!

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  10. "Drip drip drip. wipe mouth....ummm Wendy??? You are one of my BEST Gals! What a WOMAN! :) Thanks for You and your Cooking World! :) xoxo Kay

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    Replies
    1. You're making me blush, Kay! This is great for parties and potlucks, because it makes a TON...and it doesn't have anything that would spoil in the heat.

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  11. That is a great looking salad. :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's really versatile too...you could add in some roasted bell pepper too if you like, or maybe some cotija cheese or queso fresco too.

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  12. This salad is beautiful! Love the colors. #SundaySupper means gathering around the dinner table for a good meal and good conversation about the week. @HezziD

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    Replies
    1. I love all the colors in this salad too! The longer I've been blogging, the more I appreciate the eye appeal of food, in addition to taste.

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  13. Wendy, looks like a delicious picnic dinner! Love all your yummy flavors!

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    Replies
    1. This salad is so good...really refreshing. Light, but pretty filling on its own!

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  14. Yummy! Stopping by from #SundaySupper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome...glad to have you! Don't be a stranger...

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  15. Great tips! Fabulous post for #sundaysupper!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you...I hope you'll whip up a batch of this for your family!

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  16. I agree - the "together" is the most important part! This looks amazing and I know everybody in our house would love it. Charring, grilling, and roasting veggies just brings out the most amazing flavor - I want to reach in and grab a portion! For me, #SundaySupper means embracing old family traditions while creating new ones. @girlichef

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm eating the last of this salad now...I made it Thursday night, and it's still crunchy and flavorful today!

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  17. Replies
    1. Thanks...it's really good! You can vary the spice level to suit your family's taste...

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  18. How funny, Wendy! I just wrote about longing for a garden party...but not being able to stand the heat! Thanks for the post. Beautiful writing and food, as always!

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    1. Thanks, doll! Hope we get a chance to tag up for lunch in August...things will slow down for me toward the end of the month!

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  19. This salad would be a hit in our house! I'm always looking for new ideas with a tex-mex style to it.

    For me, #SundaySupper means being together with my family, sharing the Sunday dinner tradition with my family, and getting a great start to our new week.

    twitter name: @HomeCookMemory

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing...living in San Antonio, we eat a lot of food with Tex-Mex flavor!

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  20. Alfresco dining is the best, but I totally feel you on the heat. It's been crazy hot here this year and we haven't made it onto the patio as much as we would normally.

    For us, #SundaySupper is a time to sit - block everything else out - and share our day as a family.

    Jamie @ www.mamamommymom.com
    @mamamommymom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How nice...life is so hectic that it's always special when we can disconnect and just talk!

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  21. sunday supper means spending time with people I love and connecting with them @mellanhead

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    Replies
    1. Yep...those connections are so important, especially with today's fast-paced and super-busy society!

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  22. When does the temperature cool off a bit? it is still 99 degrees outside here. No picnic time for us. Pinned that fabulous looking salad though. I can't wait to try it out. Love the theme of Sunday Suppers this week. Made me remember my grandmother's house, her cooking, and dinner with all the cousins.

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    Replies
    1. If it's a partial cloudy day, it can be quite bearable after the sun goes down.

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  23. I love the colors in this dish! We have yet to attempt roasting corn but I keep meaning to. Hopefully soon as this dish looks amazing.

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    Replies
    1. I think it's pretty easy to do indoors with a ridged grill pan. You just have to be patient and not flip it until you give it time to brown nicely first.

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  24. I love to eat outdoors whenever I can, it makes for a great experience!

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    Replies
    1. Being in California, I'm sure you can eat outdoors nearly year-round...lucky! Spring is my favorite time to dine al fresco...

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  25. mmmm I love roasted corn and grilled onions, my mouth was watering just looking at them!

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    1. The roasting brings a little bit of a nutty flavor to the corn...very nice!

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  26. Wendy, you are the 'queen' of southwestern and Tex-Mex cuisine! Every dish you make is bursting with vibrant colors and flavors; just like your spicy pinto and black bean salad...oh, so awesome, and mouthwatering with the grilled onions, jalapeno and the grilled corn. I have seen a few similar salads, and salsas, lately, but none compare to yours. The avocado really gives it more color and flavor, as well!

    Your giveaway cute shoes are adorable, and so comfy looking: As for the Sunday Supper, and what it means to me; so nice to have that one special day to sit around a big table with family and friends, and enjoy simple but delicious easy meal, and just discuss the week events...(which actually what we do at my daughter's house on some Sundays)
    xo

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