Written and developed by Cathy Collins

The inspiration for making my Black Bean and Corn Salsa was the can of Rotel with habaneros I acquired at the Harvest Chapel Food Pantry a couple of weeks ago.  Normally I use jalapenos or green chili peppers for my Black Bean and Corn salsa. The addition of the habaneros gave it a nice amount of heat.

black bean salsa

Black bean salsa is an easy way to use up summer’s delicious, fresh foods!

Incidentally, Harvest Chapel does a wonderful job meeting not only the food needs of their recipients, but the little extras we can’t afford.  They usually have a table full of donated clothing and plenty of miscellaneous items.  I have seen everything from make-up and nail polish, to small packages of nuts, bolts and screws, to baby toys, and even inner tubes for bikes and larger vehicles, you name it, they try to make sure it’s available. Thank you Harvest Chapel, for feeding the bodies and spirits of our community.

My other reason for making black bean and corn salsa is that it’s summer and it’s hot!  A great time to enjoy the bounty of our local crops; a great time of year to eat more salads, spend less time cooking and more time outside.  With this in mind and a perusal of my cupboards, I discovered I had the ingredients to make this favorite summertime salsa, so I did.

My 13 year old daughter eats it by the spoonful (She gets her own separate container) or with anything that will hold it from white bread to tortillas to potato chips; she even puts it on her scrambled eggs!  I sprinkle a little shredded cheese on a tortilla, melted the cheese, put the salsa on and rolled it up burrito style.  My 22 year old daughter’s roommate ate 2 sizeable containers full, some with corn chips and some with a can of tuna added. I’d never thought about adding tuna, but what a great idea.  Low fat, high in protein, lots of vitamins and minerals and since tuna is an oily fish, he even got those all-important Omega-3 essential fatty acids everyone talks about into his meal.

Everyone asked for more.  When I told them that batch was gone they promptly begged me for the recipe.  I reminded them it was originally a part of the Chicken Fiesta Salad I make once in a great while.  My family’s response, “OMG, you haven’t made that in forever!  We should have that soon.” The unspoken understanding was, “please make that for us.”  Of course I will.  I love this salad.  For my friends and family, here is the Black Bean and Corn Salsa recipe and the Chicken Fiesta salad.

The great part of this meal is that it takes advantage of what is available at our local pantries (canned black beans, canned tomatoes, canned corn and even canned chicken if you want) and the fresh produce available from the Veggie Drop with its call for fresh salad greens.  I can’t wait for corn and tomatoes to come in.  I’ll be making and canning fresh batches of the black bean and corn salsa to put up for the rest of the year. I wonder what the chances are that Food Finders will have dried black beans, that would be wonderful… far less salt than the canned variety.  If I have my way, there will be plenty of this salsa to go around for everyone.  Since four of my five kids were born in the summer,  guess what you’ll be getting for your birthdays!  …  Now where did I put that canning equipment?

Before we get to the recipe, I want to give you just a few things you can do with the Black Bean and Corn salsa aside from put it on the Chicken Fiesta Salad.

You can:

Use it as a salsa with tortilla or corn chips, maybe a little sour cream or nacho cheese on the side?

Fill tortillas with Cathy’s Magic Beans or Buddy’s Beans and Crumbles, taco meat, canned or shredded chicken or pork, or fajita style meat; add the Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Wrap it up burrito style. Make lots.  Put them in a large freezer bag and into the freezer.  Another easy meal for the on the go nights, take it to work for lunch, send it to school for lunch, or keep them for snacks.

How about mixing it with the Fortified Soy-Rice Casserole provided to food banks and pantries by Kids Against Hunger? … Now that gives me a great idea!  I love beans and rice of all varieties.  Together, they form a complete protein and are a wonderful nutritional substitute for meat.  Add a salad of fresh lettuce, some carrots, cucumber, onions and tomatoes and you have a balanced meal for free if you take advantage of the Veggie Drop or your own garden.

Put it in omelets or on eggs!

Make a frittata or quiche (a great way to use that powdered egg mix we get from the pantries) and add the salsa for a southwest flavor.

Put it on fried or baked potatoes.

Or make Chicken Fiesta Salad… (coming up…)

There lots of ways to use this salsa.  I’d love to hear what others do with it.  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section of this blog.