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Archive for August 11, 2013

RECIPE: Bean & Corn Salsa With Avocado

We picked up a perfectly ripe avocado this morning and made this delicious lunch: avocado stuffed with salsa bobos. It was so good, we ate both halves.

Yes, avocados have their share of calories, but they are healthy calories—most are from the monounsaturated avocado oil*.

Salsa bobos is our favorite salsa. Bobos means confetti in Spanish. The mixture of black beans, green bell pepper, orange carrot, red tomato, yellow corn and salsa looks even more festive than most confetti.

We’d happily eat this every day, and typically serve it as party salsa. Sometimes we make it, sometimes we buy it from Jardine’s (we buy it by the case).


So delicious, and truly healthful! Photo courtesy Avocado Central.


The salsa is so thick, you can serve it as a side dish even without the avocado. Salsa bobos also can be used for a seven-layer dip or as a topping for fish, chicken, baked potatoes (delicious with sour cream or Greek yogurt) or fancy nachos. Try it in the center of a shrimp cocktail, atop the cocktail sauce.


The label says “medium,” but given the fire
of some of the other mediums, we’d put this
on the mid-to-high side of mild. Photo
courtesy Jardine’s.



Ingredients For Four Servings

  • 2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup prepared chunky salsa
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño or 10 drops red
    hot sauce (use less for mild heat)
  • 2 large†, ripe Hass avocados, halved and seeded
  • 4 small bunches radish or alfalfa sprouts


    1. COMBINE beans, corn, carrots, cilantro, salsa, green onion and red pepper sauce in a bowl; stir to combine.

    2. FILL each avocado half with 1/4 of the bobos mixture. Garnish with sprouts and serve.

    TIP: Cut a thin lengthwise slice off of the bottom of each avocado half to make the avocados stable on the plates.

    *One cup of avocado has 234 calories and 21g total fat, of which 14g is monounsaturated; 708 mg potassium; 10 g dietary fiber, 2.9 g protein, 24% DV vitamin C, 20% DV vitamin B-6 and other nutrients.

    †A large avocado averages about 8 ounces.


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    NEWS: Certified Humane® Products Now Available In All 50 States

    What is Certified Humane, and why should you care?

    Certified Humane is the seal of compliance bestowed by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), the leading non-profit certification organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals. The program aims to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices.

    That’s you: a consumer who is reading this!


    When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled label on a product, you are assured that the food comes from a facility that meets precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.


    Look for the Certified Humane label. Can’t find it? Ask the meat department manager. Photo courtesy HFAC.

    The dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry have been produced according to HFAC’s precise standards for humane farm animal treatment. The standards were developed by a veritable “Who’s Who” of national and international animal scientists and farm-animal welfare experts. Producer compliance with the standards is verified through annual on-site visits by third-party inspectors.

    Nationally recognized as the Gold Standard for certifying animal welfare from birth through slaughter, the program is supported by more than 50 humane organizations. More than 100 U.S. companies, representing thousands of farms and millions of farm animals, are now certified. The assurances include, among other things, that:

  • The animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress.
  • Animals receive fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed, without added antibiotics or hormones.
  • Animals are free to behave naturally; for example, chickens are able to flap their wings and dust bathe, and pigs have the space to move around and root. Cages, crates and tie stalls are among the forbidden.
  • Producers must comply with the American Meat Institute Standards (AMI), a higher standard for slaughtering farm animals than the federal Humane Slaughter Act.

    Happy sows, happy piglets on a Certified
    Humane farm in Missouri. Photo courtesy



    With the addition of Alaska this year, Certified Humane products are now available in all 50 states. Certified Humane products are available for sale 9 out of the top 10 grocery retailers, in more than 10,000 locations nationwide. Products are also available in Canada and for online purchase.

    To locate the nearest products, simply download the Certified Humane App from the Apple Store for iPhone, or from Google Play for Android.

    Accessing from any mobile device will instantly pull up a “Where to Buy” button, made for quick access to nearby products. From a computer, visit the Where to Buy page of the website.

    Both the app and the website lead you to a list of 42 companies that ship Certified Humane products to your door.

    Learn more at


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Bread

    Hot off the grill. Photo © Beth Nakamura |
    LC | The Oregonian.


    If you like bread, you probably have discovered that grilled bread is even more delicious. That’s what makes garlic bread such a hit over a plain, sliced Italian loaf. (O.K., the garlic helps.)

    Simply slice the bread, brush with olive oil and grill. For even more flavor, blend the olive oil with minced garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme or a combination. Sprinkle with a pinch of regular or flavored salt when you’re ready to remove the bread from the grill.

    No grill? Use your broiler. The only thing you’ll miss is the the smoky flavor of hardwood on a charcoal fire.


  • Pick a lightly-crusted bread. Grilled crusts can get very hard and crumbly, so pick a loaf with a larger proportion of bread to crust.
  • Use medium heat. A bit of char is desirable, but if the heat is too high, the bread will get overly charred. Over medium heat, grill the bread for about two minutes per side.
  • Use some of the bread for salad croutons. Toss it with any greens, tomato salad, Caesar salad, etc. They’ll be the best croutons ever.



    There’s a lot of grilled bread excitement beyond the sliced loaf. McCormick suggests these complements with non-traditional grilling breads.

  • Biscuits: Serve with peach/onion/whiskey chutney (recipe).
  • Ciabatta: Brush with olive oil mixed with herb seasoned salt before grilling.
  • Flour Tortillas, Lavash, Chapati Or Other Flatbread: Before grilling, brush with vegetable oil mixed with heat, such as Grill Mates Fiery 5 Pepper Seasoning.
  • Naan: Serve with arugula and pine nut pesto (recipe).
  • Olive Bread: Serve with Mediterranean salsa (recipe).
  • Pita: Serve with classic hummus.


    Naan, one of our favorite breads, is even tastier when grilled. Photo courtesy McCormick.



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