Quick Burrito Bowl

This burrito bowl recipe is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This burrito bowl recipe is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.

Burrito bowl recipe

Here’s a quick dinner idea that’s always satisfying and works for nearly every diet. That’s right, the good old Burrito Bowl! We can thank Chipotle for its widespread popularity, but it really is a killer idea. Throw rice, veggies, and burrito fillings in a bowl and call it meal! Here’s the thing: a good burrito bowl can actually take a while to make at home with all the components. Want a burrito bowl that’s lightening fast to make? We’ve got you. In fact, you can make this one 15 minutes (we timed ourselves).

How to make a burrito bowl… fast!

The longest lead time item in a burrito bowl is the rice. If you want to make a speedy bowl, you’ve got to short cut the rice cook time. There are a few options:

  • Fastest: Use packaged pre-cooked rice! There are a few brands on the market (we used Seeds of Change)
  • Fast: Cook the rice the night before, then reheat it with a splash of water on the stovetop
  • Medium speed: Cook white rice in 20 minutes on the stovetop, or even better make Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Longest: Cook brown rice in 45 minutes on the stovetop (consider doing this in advance)
Black bean and corn salad

Make shortcut black bean salad

The other key to this quick burrito bowl? Our shortcut Black Bean and Corn Salad! We discovered this trick and have been using it ever since. All you have to do is mix together 3 ingredients, and you’ve got a salad that tastes like you spend hours chopping. The keys? Mix together:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup purchased pico de gallo: you’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery! It may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. It’s a total lifesaver and adds a tangy zing to the entire salad.

You can also use the Black Bean and Corn Salad as a shortcut black bean salsa dip for chips, or try it in our Shrimp Bowls.

Burrito bowl

Whip up the chipotle ranch dressing

When we timed ourselves making this burrito bowl, we used pre-cooked packaged rice for maximum speed. So we had plenty of time to whip up this Chipotle Ranch Dressing! It’s so delicious and easy to put together. Here are the magic ingredients:

  • Yogurt plus mayonnaise: Using yogurt with the mayo helps cut down calories but maintains some of the richness of standard ranch dressing.
  • Adobo sauce: You’ll use adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis. It’s typically easy to find this ingredient next to the Mexican ingredients in your grocery. Only use the sauce from the can.

Want a milder version of this sauce, especially for kids? Just use half the adobo sauce (1 tablespoon). It won’t be spicy, but it will still have great smoky flavor!

Chipotle ranch dressing

Burrito bowl recipe variations

The best part about a burrito bowl, in our opinion? You can customize it to any diet. In fact, you can make these bowls for a crowd and provide options for everyone. It’s absolutely our go-to for large gatherings! As is, this burrito bowl is vegetarian and gluten free. Here’s how to modify it for other diets:

Other add ins!

Of course, you can also make this burrito bowl a whole lot fancier. We designed it as a quick weeknight meal. But if you’re hosting a dinner party, here are ways to step it up:

Let us know what you think of this quick burrito bowl recipe: we hope it comes in handy for times when you need a healthy dinner…fast!

Burrito bowl recipe

More bowl meals

Love meals in a bowl? Us too! Here are a few of our top bowl meals to try:

This burrito bowl recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use chipotle sauce.

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Burrito bowl recipe

Quick Burrito Bowl


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This burrito bowl is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.


Ingredients

For the burrito bowl

For the chipotle ranch (use chipotle sauce for vegan)

  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt plus 1 tablespoon water)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 each teaspoon each dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 each teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis**

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice: make the Stovetop White Rice, Stovetop Brown Rice,Instant Pot Rice, or Cilantro Lime Rice. Alternatively, buy a precooked package that cooks in 2 minutes (like Seeds of Change brand). When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and add a few pinches salt and a drizzle of olive oil, to taste (don’t skip this step!).
  2. Make the black bean and corn salad: In a bowl, mix together the beans (drained and rinsed), corn, and pico de gallo with the kosher salt.
  3. Chop the veggies: Cut the avocado. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and thinly slice the onions.
  4. Make the chipotle ranch: Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined.
  5. Serve: Add the rice to bowls, then top with the black bean and corn salad, veggies, and chipotle ranch dressing.

Notes

*You’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery: it may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. If you can’t find it, make homemade Pico de Gallo.

**Customize to your heat level. For a mild version, use 1 tablespoon adobo sauce.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Burrito bowl

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with a healthy spin.

Banana oatmeal pancakes

Here at A Couple Cooks, we love pancakes that taste good and are full of nutrient-dense whole foods. Enter, these healthy banana oatmeal pancakes! They’re a mashup of our fan-favorite Oatmeal Pancakes and Banana Pancakes and man, are they delicious. We literally could not stop eating them (excuse me for stuffing my face…!). Even better: they’re made mainly of oats and bananas in a blender. That’s right: no all purpose flour at all! No one will believe the magic.

Why make these banana oatmeal pancakes?

Let’s get our unpopular opinion out there right now: most pancakes are an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. (Sorry!) But to be honest: a huge dose of sugar and refined flour in the morning doesn’t make us feel so great. The hearty, wholesome option? These banana oatmeal pancakes. What’s great about them?

  • They’re made mainly of oats: no flour. This makes them 100% whole grain and naturally gluten free pancakes. You’ll find they stick with you: they’re filling and make your stomach feel full, not ready for a sugar crash! It’s basically like eating a bowl of oatmeal.
  • They’re so easy to make! All you need is a blender and these pancakes come together in a breeze.
  • They’ve got amazing flavor. Take one bite, and you’ll be a believer. We promise!
Banana oatmeal pancakes

They’re easy to make: in a blender!

How to make pancakes easy? Simply whiz up everything in a blender and you’re ready to go! For some reason, using a blender seems easier than whisking everything together: maybe because there’s a little less mess? Then cook them up the same as a standard pancake.

The batter for these banana oatmeal pancakes is a slightly more delicate than a standard pancake since these oatmeal blender pancakes have no gluten. But they don’t require a lot of extra babying! It should feel essentially the same as a normal pancake when they’re on the griddle.

Variations on these banana oatmeal pancakes

Here are a few variations on these banana oatmeal pancakes:

  • Dairy free: Use almond milk instead of standard milk, and neutral oil instead of butter. Try vegan yogurt for the yogurt, or you can just add the same amount of non-dairy milk.
  • Vegan / plant based: Honestly, we’d recommend our Vegan Pancakes instead. But you can try using flax eggs in place of the egg! To learn more, go to How to make a flax egg.
Banana oatmeal pancakes

How to step up these banana oatmeal pancakes

We love serving these banana oatmeal pancakes with just a drizzle of maple syrup! Of course it’s essential to be light-handed on toppings for a healthy pancake recipe, or it kind of negates the purpose of being healthier in the first place, right? Here are a few fun ways to dress up your gluten free banana oatmeal pancakes, with a healthy spin:

Love banana flavor? Our Healthy Banana Muffins or Healthy Banana Bread use the same method! Or browse our favorite banana recipes.

More great pancakes recipes

Want more pancakes recipes? We’ve got ’em! Try our original oatmeal pancakes and more:

This banana oatmeal pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. For vegan and plant-based, substitute a flax egg for the eggs.

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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes (Best Ever!)


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 9 large or 12 small pancakes

Description

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with a healthy spin. NOTE: Recipe updated 5/26/2021 to address reader comments. 


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek or whole milk work)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (or neutral oil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mashed bananas  (2 medium)

Instructions

  1. Place the oats, Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder and kosher salt in a blender. Blend on high until a smooth batter forms. 
  2. Mash the bananas, then stir them into the blender with a spatula. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Add a few more tablespoons milk to the better until it is still thick but can pour out of the blender. Pour the batter into small circles. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then flip them and cook until golden on the other side. 
  4. Add another tablespoon or two to the remaining batter and stir so that it is pourable. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Brunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Last updated: June 2021

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy BBQ Tofu

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.

BBQ Tofu

Here’s a must-make recipe for tofu fans: and eaters on the fence, too. Try this irresistible BBQ Tofu recipe! Each bite has just the right chewy texture, bathed in a silky, sweet, savory sauce. You’ll want to keep eating it for days. This plate disappeared very quickly at our house! This recipe is easy to put together and a great starter recipe for people who are wary of the stuff. In fact, it might turn them into unabashed fans,

How to make BBQ tofu: fast & easy

One huge advantage to this recipe: you can use the tofu out of the package, no pressing required! Many tofu recipes call for pressing the water out of the tofu for 30 minutes prior to making the recipe. But if you’re like us, you don’t have an extra 30 minutes to spare. This BBQ tofu recipe uses tofu right out of the package! Here are the basic steps (but for the full recipe, scroll down!):

  • Cut the tofu and pat it dry with a towel.
  • Pan fry it 5 minutes in a skillet on medium high heat. Flip and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Add BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce and cook another 4 minutes on low heat until the sauce thickens.

That’s it! It’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to make tofu taste irresistibly good.

BBQ Tofu

Use a good BBQ sauce

We used an organic BBQ sauce for this BBQ tofu recipe. Using a quality brand is key, because the flavor of sauces can vary. Look for sauces that are sweetened with sugar or natural ingredients, not high fructose corn syrup. You can also use homemade BBQ sauce, like one of these recipes:

We also have Mustard BBQ Sauce and White BBQ Sauce recipes, but they’re a bit different in character so we wouldn’t suggest them here.

Vegan BBQ sauce

Is tofu healthy?

Misinformation swirls about tofu and soy products. Is tofu healthy? Here’s what to know about eating tofu and other soy products like tempeh and edamame:

  • Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week.
  • Tofu is likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Ways to serve this BBQ tofu recipe

Once you’ve got your BBQ tofu recipe, there are endless ways to serve it! Turn it into a healthy dinner recipe with a few easy sides. Here are a few of the ways we’d pair it with sides to make a meal:

BBQ tofu recipe

More great ways to eat tofu

Here at A Couple Cooks, we used to avoid tofu because it felt like it was trying to be meat. But we’ve learned that tofu is so much more than that! It’s a delicious plant-based protein that can be eaten in so many delicious ways. Here are some favorites:

This BBQ tofu recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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BBQ Tofu

Easy BBQ Tofu


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.


Ingredients

  • 14-ounces firm or extra firm tofu*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce, if desired

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into large cubes (about 1.5″ x 2″) and pat it dry with a towel.
  2. Add the oil to a non-stick pan and add the tofu cubes and a few pinches kosher salt. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
  3. Briefly remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Flip the tofu with chopsticks (the easiest method!) or tongs. Return the heat to medium-high and cook additional 5 to 6 minutes until browned.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.
  5. Briefly remove the pan from the heat again and drizzle with the sauce (watch for spitting). Return to low heat and cook 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Note: You can also use this method with Grilled Tofu: simply substitute BBQ sauce for the sauce in that recipe.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tofu

Keywords: BBQ Tofu, BBQ Tofu Recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Gin Basil Smash

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing and herbaceous drink.

Gin basil smash

Got basil? Love gin? Here’s the ideal drink for you: the Gin Basil Smash! This modern spin on the Whiskey Smash is light and herbaceous, pairing peppery basil with botanical gin. If there’s summer in a cocktail glass, this is it! We love drinking our herbs all season long, and this new addition to our summer cocktails perfectly captures that feeling of fresh cut grass between your toes and sticky melted popsicle fingers. (At least, we think so!)

What’s in a Gin Basil Smash?

The Gin Basil Smash is a cocktail made with gin, basil and fresh lemon juice, a riff on the popular Whiskey Smash. First published as a recipe in 1887, the Whiskey Smash pairs lemon, mint, sugar and crushed ice as a refreshing summer cocktail. Substitute in basil and gin, and you’ve got this drink.

This gin variation was invented in 2008 by a man named Jörg Meyer, owner of the Germany bar Bar Le Lion, who posted the recipe on his website. It became an international success and is now made around the world. (Read more about the origin story.) Here’s what you need to make a Gin Basil Smash:

  • Gin
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
Gin basil smash

How to muddle basil

The best time to make a Gin Basil Smash? The summer, when you have a big pot of bright green basil! You’ll need 8 to 10 basil leaves per drink, so it’s more economical to go the home-grown route. The cocktail skill we’ll use to extract that delicious, peppery flavor is called muddling. Muddling is gently mashing herbs to release their juices, which helps the flavors incorporate into drinks.

When it comes to herbs, you’ll want to have a gentle touch when muddling. Here’s how to muddle herbs, including basil:

  • Place the basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have one, you can use a large metal cup or bowl.
  • With a wooden cocktail muddler or unfinished wooden spoon, gently mash the mint a few times to release the juices. Do not mash the basil with lots of force! The key to muddling is a light touch.

Basil is so easy to grow at home! Go to How to Grow Basil and How to Harvest Basil for more.

Best gin to use

Any type of gin works for a Gin Basil Smash! Try to find a mid-priced bottle, since price is usually indicative of quality when it comes to spirits. Here are a few tips for buying gin:

  • Every brand is different. There’s a wide range of botanical flavors in different brands of gin. Experiment to find your favorite!
  • Malfy gin is a good option: it has a nice balance of flavors.
  • Steer away from Tanqueray gin: in our opinion, it’s a little too floral.
Gin basil smash

More basil cocktails & mint cocktails

There are so many ways to use fresh herbs in cocktails in the summer! Here are a few more ideas:

When to serve a Gin Basil Smash

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for summer when basil abounds, but of course it works year round. Try it as a:

  • Summer cocktail
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Gin basil smash

Gin Basil Smash


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing and herbaceous drink.


Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 ½ ounces* gin
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)

Instructions

  1. Place the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle them (gently mash).
  2. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass. If desired, top with splash of soda water. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Gin basil smash

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Three Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s? The anatomy of a bean salad! Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks.

Bean Salad

OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s?

The anatomy of a bean salad!

Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this source). Either way: Alex and I have been enjoying it for our entire lives.

Bean salad recipes vary and most cooks have their own regional spin. The most common ingredients are kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans (it’s often called three bean salad). Other ingredients you’ll often see are pinto beans, wax beans, and onions. It’s almost always marinated in a dressing of vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Bean salad recipe

How to make this three bean salad recipe

Our spin on Grandma’s three bean salad is just as easy to make as the 1950’s style classic. That means the main steps are “dump and stir:” open the bean cans and stir everything together! At the same time, we wanted to freshen up the classic by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little freshness. Here are the elements we added to this three bean salad to make a modern spin:

  • Kidney beans and pinto beans: Why no chickpeas? They can have a tough texture and don’t soak up the marinade as quickly. We prefer pinto beans in a bean salad.
  • Green and yellow beans: Use just green beans for a classic three bean salad. But we like the color contrast of adding yellow wax beans to the mix.
  • White onion and red onion: White onion is standard and has the most classic flavor. Red onion adds brightness with the lovely purple! It’s optional but makes a nice visual statement.
  • Curly parsley: The green confetti adds a fresh flavor and visual flair. Use curly parsley if you have it, but Italian also works.
  • White vinegar and olive oil: The salad where it’s appropriate to use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Bean salad. (And German cucumber salad, of course.) It adds just the right astringent punch, balanced by the salt and sugar.
  • Dill and garlic powder: These spices aren’t standard, but they amp the flavors just enough.
Three bean salad

Eat immediately, or marinate at least 1 hour

You can eat your bean salad recipe right away and it’s very tasty. Or pop it in the refrigerator to let it marinate for at least 1 hour, and it’s even better. The refrigeration time really lets the flavors soak in.

The end result? This recipe has half the sugar as the standard, but it’s just as delicious! It’s got all the classic elements so you feel like you’re eating Grandma’s. We’ll be eating this for years to come.

Tip: how to slice the onions

One area where home cooks can be tripped up: how to cut the onions into slivers! The cut that looks best in this bean salad recipe is different from the standard half-moon shape. Some people call it French cut: it’s a way of making the onion slivers look attractive instead of long and floppy.

  • How to do it? It’s easiest to explain by showing you. Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video!
  • The basic explanation? Cut slices from the tip to the root (instead of through the middle).

Storage info

How long does homemade bean salad last? Store it refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Like a pickle, the flavor intensifies over time! It’s great for lunches throughout the week. Beans don’t last indefinitely refrigerated, so make sure not to leave it longer than the storage recommendation.

Three bean salad recipe

When to serve bean salad (really anytime!)

Last but not least: how to serve bean salad! We’re huge fans of this easy salad and we think it works anytime: picnics, potlucks, and meals any time of the year. It’s a great protein-packed vegan side dish, and it helps to make any vegetarian or plant-based meal more filling. It also is great for summer grilled meals. Here are a few other salads you could pair with it for a stellar summer salad spread:

This bean salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Bean Salad

Classic Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. 


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans or pinto beans
  • 15-ounce can green beans
  • 15-ounce can wax beans (or another 15-ounce can green beans)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/4 medium red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  2. Thinly slice the onions into slivers (go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video to see how!). Finely chop the parsley. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dill, garlic, powder, and kosher salt. Add the beans, onions and parsley and stir until coated. You can eat immediately, but for best results refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the salad to marinate. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Use standard white vinegar, not white wine vinegar! 

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Bean salad, bean salad recipe, three bean salad, three bean salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Classic Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Fresh Pink Lemonade

Here’s how to make pink lemonade…with real lemons! What’s makes it pink? This recipe has the secrets to the bright color and fresh flavor. What is it about pink lemonade that’s both nostalgic and irresistible? Those cardboard cans of concentrate conjure up summer afternoons and flipflops. But is actually in the stuff? What makes pink lemonade pink? Turns out, it’s as natural as can be! Here’s how to make Homemade Pink Lemonade with real lemons. It tastes like you turned up the volume on the concentrate: it’s intensely sweet tart and incredibly fresh. What is pink lemonade? Pink lemonade is lemonade that is dyed pink in color. The earliest recipe for it is from a recipe book from 1892, that called for lemonade to be colored with “fresh or canned strawberry, red raspberry, currant or cranberry juice.” There are a few origin stories for how it came about: both claim it was invented by an American circus worker in the 1850’s. Both stores sound a little like urban legends, but the key is: pink lemonade was either created or popularized by the circus. What makes pink lemonade pink? The color makes it look like it has extra flavoring, but pink […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make pink lemonade…with real lemons! What’s makes it pink? This recipe has the secrets to the bright color and fresh flavor.

Pink lemonade

What is it about pink lemonade that’s both nostalgic and irresistible? Those cardboard cans of concentrate conjure up summer afternoons and flipflops. But is actually in the stuff? What makes pink lemonade pink? Turns out, it’s as natural as can be! Here’s how to make Homemade Pink Lemonade with real lemons. It tastes like you turned up the volume on the concentrate: it’s intensely sweet tart and incredibly fresh.

What is pink lemonade?

Pink lemonade is lemonade that is dyed pink in color. The earliest recipe for it is from a recipe book from 1892, that called for lemonade to be colored with “fresh or canned strawberry, red raspberry, currant or cranberry juice.” There are a few origin stories for how it came about: both claim it was invented by an American circus worker in the 1850’s. Both stores sound a little like urban legends, but the key is: pink lemonade was either created or popularized by the circus.

What makes pink lemonade pink?

The color makes it look like it has extra flavoring, but pink lemonade tastes exactly the same as the traditional stuff. So why make it pink? Optics. It simply looks more appealing! The bright color is more visually interesting than the light yellow of standard lemonade. But what makes the color?

The 1892 recipe for pink lemonade used naturally red fruits or juices for the coloring. Many store-bought brands today use artificial dyes, but a natural pink lemonade may use:

  • Cranberry juice
  • Strawberries or strawberry juice
  • Raspberries or raspberry juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Grenadine (pomegranate syrup)
What makes Pink lemonade pink
This lovely color is all natural!

How to make pink lemonade

Let’s get to the recipe! How to make pink lemonade? For this all natural lemonade, we chose cranberry juice for the bright color. Here’s all you need to do (or jump to the recipe below for the exact quantities):

  • Juice the lemons. Best juicing tips are below!
  • Mix sugar and warm water in a pitcher. This dissolves it; no need to heat it on the stovetop.
  • Add cold water, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. Stir and you’ve got a beautifully bright color and refreshing, sweet tart flavor!

The recipe below makes a small pitcher of 4 servings. To make a larger pitcher for serving a crowd, simply double it!

Best way to juice lemons

If you love making homemade lemonade (and we do), here’s the best way to juice those lemons! Our top choice is our handy press citrus juicers, which is fast and saves your fingers of having to do all that squeezing!

  • Press citrus juicer: best choice! This type is efficient and gets out even more juice than other types. Here’s the press juicer we recommend. It’s held up the best of any method, after making 300+ cocktails.
  • Handheld citrus juicer. The next best juicer? The type with a ridged top (similar to this).
What is Pink lemonade

Use less cranberry juice for a lighter pink color

This pink lemonade recipe makes a beautifully bright pink color. If you prefer a more pastel pink, you can do that too! Just use half the cranberry juice. Or you can adjust it as needed! It doesn’t add much flavor-wise: it’s simply there for color.

More lemonade and limeade recipes

Try all our homemade lemonade and limeade recipes: they’re the perfect summer drinks! Pick from the following:

Lemon drink

This pink lemonade recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Pink lemonade

Easy Pink Lemonade


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 drinks
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make pink lemonade…with real lemons! What’s makes it pink? This recipe has the secrets to the bright color and fresh flavor.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (4 large lemons)*
  • 1/2 cup all natural cranberry juice (no sugar added)**
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Ice
  • Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons.
  2. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup warm water to a pitcher and stir until dissolved. Add 2 cups cold water, then pour in the lemon juice and cranberry juice. Add ice and serve.

Notes

*Or, double this recipe to make a large pitcher that serves 8.

**You can use half the cranberry juice for a lighter pastel pink lemonade, but we like the vibrant pink color.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Juiced
  • Cuisine: Drink

Keywords: Pink lemonade, how to make pink lemonade, what is pink lemonade, what makes pink lemonade pink

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Mojito Pitcher Recipe

Make drinks for a crowd with this mojito pitcher recipe! This big batch cocktail has the ideal bubbly, minty flavor and festive vibe. The minty mojito is one of top favorite classic cocktails of all time. But when it comes to entertaining, have you ever tried to shake up more than 2 drinks, one after another? It takes far too long to make them to order. So enter: this mojito pitcher recipe! We created this big batch cocktail for an outdoor dinner party, and it’s infinitely more fun to party with one of these in hand. It’s minty, tangy, bubbly, and gives you that carefree feeling like the last day of school before summer vacation. What’s in a mojito pitcher? The Classic Mojito was invented in Havana, Cuba, though the exact origin is unknown. Some say it goes all the way back to the 1500’s with an early combination of lime, sugar and rum. The modern version of it gained steam in the 1930’s, when writer Ernest Hemingway helped to popularize it. The Mojito made the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which means it has an official definition. But it’s always defined as a single drink, not a pitcher. The pitcher […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Make drinks for a crowd with this mojito pitcher recipe! This big batch cocktail has the ideal bubbly, minty flavor and festive vibe.

Mojito pitcher recipe

The minty mojito is one of top favorite classic cocktails of all time. But when it comes to entertaining, have you ever tried to shake up more than 2 drinks, one after another? It takes far too long to make them to order. So enter: this mojito pitcher recipe! We created this big batch cocktail for an outdoor dinner party, and it’s infinitely more fun to party with one of these in hand. It’s minty, tangy, bubbly, and gives you that carefree feeling like the last day of school before summer vacation.

What’s in a mojito pitcher?

The Classic Mojito was invented in Havana, Cuba, though the exact origin is unknown. Some say it goes all the way back to the 1500’s with an early combination of lime, sugar and rum. The modern version of it gained steam in the 1930’s, when writer Ernest Hemingway helped to popularize it.

The Mojito made the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which means it has an official definition. But it’s always defined as a single drink, not a pitcher. The pitcher version uses a homemade mint simple syrup, which is a little different from the standard method. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh mint
  • Lime juice
  • Sugar
  • White rum
  • Soda water
Mojito pitcher recipe

The key: mint simple syrup

The standard mojito is made in a cocktail shaker: first you muddle mint, then add simple syrup, lime juice and rum. But for a pitcher version, you don’t want to have to muddle such a large quantity of the herb. That’s where the mint syrup comes in! Make a quick mint simple syrup, and it infuses minty fresh flavor into each drink. It’s similar to this mint simple syrup, but even quicker. Here are the main steps:

  • Place mint leaves in a pan with equal parts sugar and water.
  • Bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then allow to sit at least 5 minutes.

Otherwise, this mojito pitcher recipe is beyond simple. Mix the syrup with lime juice and rum, then add ice and garnishes to the pitcher. Serve topped off with soda water! Speaking of…

Mojito

Soda water vs club soda

Speaking of soda water…is it club soda? Is it seltzer? In this mojito pitcher recipe, we use the term “soda water” to mean any type of unflavored sparkling water! Here are some of the differences between club soda vs seltzer:

  • Soda water aka seltzer is carbonated water with no additives — straight up bubbles!
  • Club soda is carbonated water infused with added minerals, which give it a salty, lightly sweet flavor. It’s great in cocktails, like these top club soda cocktails.

In contrast, tonic water is carbonated water with added quinine and sugar. Don’t use it in a Mojito because of the distinct flavor. But you can use it for a Gin and TonicVodka TonicTequila Tonic or Whiskey Tonic!

Mojito variations

Want a few variations on this Mojito pitcher recipe? Here are a few different ideas to try: you can adapt each of them to work as a pitcher!

Mojito Pitcher Recipe

When to serve this mojito pitcher recipe

This mojito pitcher recipe is perfect for parties! Try it as a:

Print
Mojito Pitcher recipe

Mojito Pitcher Recipe!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 drinks
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Make drinks for a crowd with this mojito pitcher recipe! This big batch cocktail has the ideal bubbly, minty flavor and festive vibe.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, plus more for the garnish
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lime juice (about 8 limes), plus 1 lime for the garnish
  • 2 cups white rum
  • 2 cups soda water or club soda

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar, water and mint to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes. Then strain it into a large pitcher.
  2. Add the lime juice and rum to the pitcher. Add the extra mint leaves and the extra lime, cut into rounds. Fill the pitcher with 4 handfuls of ice. Gently stir in soda water just before serving.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Mojito pitcher recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quick Black Bean and Corn Salad (5 Minutes!)

Make black bean and corn salad in 5 minutes with this genius hack, no chopping required! A quick way to get fresh food on the table. Guess what? We’ve discovered a hack to make a kickin’ fresh black bean and corn salad…in just 5 minutes, no chopping required. Sure, it’s a bit of a shortcut. But if this shortcut gets you to eat more vegetables and plant-forward meals: how could it be bad? We’ll admit: we’re wary of recipes that claim to be the easiest, best thing you’ve ever tried. But this one…let’s just say we’ve been eating it on repeat ever since! Black bean and corn salad…in 5 minutes! With all the chopping involved, many black bean and corn salads take upwards of 20 minutes to make. Your knife and cutting board are dirtied, and you end up with tomato seeds all over your counter. Of course, we’re not averse to this on the regular! But we designed this black bean and corn salad to be a quick lunch time hack, or a lightening fast appetizer for dipping with chips. Here are the secrets: 1 can black beans 1 can corn 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Make black bean and corn salad in 5 minutes with this genius hack, no chopping required! A quick way to get fresh food on the table.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Guess what? We’ve discovered a hack to make a kickin’ fresh black bean and corn salad…in just 5 minutes, no chopping required. Sure, it’s a bit of a shortcut. But if this shortcut gets you to eat more vegetables and plant-forward meals: how could it be bad? We’ll admit: we’re wary of recipes that claim to be the easiest, best thing you’ve ever tried. But this one…let’s just say we’ve been eating it on repeat ever since!

Black bean and corn salad…in 5 minutes!

With all the chopping involved, many black bean and corn salads take upwards of 20 minutes to make. Your knife and cutting board are dirtied, and you end up with tomato seeds all over your counter. Of course, we’re not averse to this on the regular! But we designed this black bean and corn salad to be a quick lunch time hack, or a lightening fast appetizer for dipping with chips. Here are the secrets:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh salsa (purchased)

It’s a true dump and stir recipe! Add a little salt and olive oil, and if you like garnish with cilantro. That’s it! No chopping. Mind blown.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

The lifesaver: purchased fresh pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa)

This black bean and corn salad is only possible because of one thing: it’s easy to find fresh pico de gallo in modern grocery stores. (This is true in American stores, at least!) You may also see it labeled as “fresh salsa” or “salsa fresca.” Pico de gallo translates to “beak of the rooster” in Spanish. It’s a type of salsa made with fresh tomatoes. The ingredients in pico de gallo include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice

The nice thing about using purchased pico is that you can find it in the fresh food section, already chopped up and ready to mix into your salad! The pico de gallo also helps to make a natural dressing for the salad with the acidity of the lime juice. Mix that with a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ve got a dressing!

Or, make homemade pico!

Don’t have access to fresh store-bought pico de gallo or fresh salsa? Depending on your location, you might not be able to pick up a container of this magical mixer. That’s ok: just make your own pico! The salad will take a little longer to make, of course. But it’s worth it for the flavor! Just make a half recipe of our Best Pico de Gallo recipe.

Shrimp Rice Bowl
Add it to a shrimp rice bowl for a tasty dinner

Ways to serve this quick black bean and corn salad

What we love about this black bean and corn salad, other than being quick? It’s endlessly versatile! You can serve it for so many different occasions. This might just seem like a simple recipe: but we think it decreases the barriers between you and fresh, plant-forward eating. And for that, we think it’s a genius combination! You can make it into a lunch, dip, or healthy dinner idea like:

Black Bean and Corn Salad

More black bean recipes

What can you do with a can of black beans? Let us count the ways. Here are some of our favorite black bean recipes:

This black bean and corn salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Black Bean and Corn Salad

Quick Black Bean and Corn Salad (5 Minutes!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Make black bean and corn salad in 5 minutes with this genius hack, no chopping required! A quick way to get fresh food on the table.


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can black beans*
  • 15-ounce can corn
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo, aka fresh salsa (purchased)**
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • Fresh cilantro, if desired (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain the corn. In a bowl, mix them with the pico de gallo, salt, and olive oil.
  2. If desired, add torn cilantro. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon as a side salad, in a rice bowl, in tacos, or as a dip with tortilla chips.

Notes

*For a party size, double the ingredients. 

**You’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery: it may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. If you can’t find it, make homemade Pico de Gallo.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Fresh
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Black bean and corn salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free. They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done! Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free.

Sweet potato brownies

They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done!

Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies

These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that make this recipe work:

  • Mashed sweet potato brings richness and texture, and stands in for some butter and flour
  • Almond butter adds fat while adding protein
  • Sugar sweetens it just right: you can use granulated, coconut or your favorite solid sugar here
  • Flour is much less than a standard recipe, and you can substitute to make them gluten free
  • Cocoa powder brings rich chocolaty flavor
  • Olive oil is a healthy oil and you’ll only need a touch
  • Dark chocolate chips are required for the final touch of chocolate!
Sweet potato brownies

Roasting the potatoes (and a shortcut or two)

The only difference from these sweet potato brownies and a traditional dump-and-stir recipe? Roasting the sweet potatoes. Here are a few notes on this process, and a shortcut or two:

  • Roasting the potatoes caramelizes them and brings out the sugars. It’s absolutely worth the 30 minutes of roasting time.
  • Cut them in half before roasting! This cuts down on the time needed to roast, versus roasting them whole.
  • You can microwave the potatoes as a shortcut. Prick them all over with a fork, place them on a plate and microwave on high for about 10 to 12 minutes or more until tender, rotating halfway through. But keep in mind: the timing can vary based on size and the microwave can be uneven in cooking. Also, roasting brings out the natural sugars, whereas the microwave does not. So only use this in a pinch!
Sweet potato brownies

Make them gluten free!

Want to make these vegan sweet potato brownies gluten free? It’s an easy swap for the flour! Using the sweet potato lets you use much less flour than a traditional brownie. There’s only 1/2 cup flour in the entire pan! Here are a few swaps for the flour:

  • Try oat flour (or make your own). Oat flour is our favorite gluten-free flour: it makes for beautifully delicious gluten free goods like healthy pumpkin bread or oatmeal pancakes. It’s easy to make, too: just whiz oats in a blender or food processor until they become powdery. It’s an easy swap here.
  • Or use your favorite gluten free flour. Most 1-for-1 gluten free flour blends will work here!

Let us know what you try in the comments!

Vegan sweet potato brownies

Are these vegan sweet potato brownies…healthy?

You’ll never miss the traditional butter and eggs in these vegan sweet potato brownies. Almond butter and olive oil stand in for the butter, and the sweet potato gives them just the right texture. But can they be considered healthy? Here’s what to know:

  • These are a treat: they’ve got lots of sugar! Don’t be fooled: these are a treat food for sure.
  • Sweet potato adds fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Brownies don’t normally have fiber and vitamins, so that’s a plus! One pound of sweet potatoes has 357% of the daily recommendation for Vitamin A and 13 grams of fiber.
  • Almond butter adds protein and heart-healthy fats. Instead of butter, almond butter adds plant-based protein and makes these a filling treat.

Bottom line: These vegan sweet potato brownies are not a health food, but they’re a healthier treat when compared to a standard brownie.

Vegan sweet potato brownies

This sweet potato brownies recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use oat flour.

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Sweet potato brownies

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies (Family Favorite!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. Vegan with gluten-free swap.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato (about 1 pound or 2 medium potatoes) 
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (granulated or coconut)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and rub them with olive oil, just enough to coat. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until tender and lightly browned on the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes (smaller potatoes may take 25 minutes; prick with a fork to assess doneness).
  2. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper (allowing it to extend out the sides to lift it out later, or just a square if you plan to cut them in the pan). Then grease the entire pan and parchment paper. 
  3. Pull the skin off of the sweet potatoes and mash them, measuring out 1 1/2 cups. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder, sugar, flour, oil, baking powder, vanilla, and kosher salt until a thick dough forms. Fold in 1/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips. Place the batter in the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. 
  4. Bake 30 minutes, until set but soft in the center. Cool 1 hour. degrees Fahrenheit. Store at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Brownies

Keywords: Sweet potato brownies, vegan sweet potato brownies

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