Friday, October 14, 2011

Mexican Black Bean and Veggie Salad

Our weather in San Diego has been unseasonally warm this week. 100 degrees in October? For real. It's been hot.

Keeping those hot temperatures in mind threw me for a loop when dinnertime rolled around the other night. I was planning to cook something easy in the oven, but realized a piping hot dish out of the oven didn't sound so hot (pun intended, ha!) on a warm evening.

Inspiration struck me and I ran with it. This salad is easy, delicious, and filling. It's even better the next day once the flavors have time to mix and mingle. Enjoy!

Mexican Black Bean and Veggie Salad
Makes 2 large portions

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup salsa of your choice
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Dice all your veggies. In a large bowl, mix the veggies together with the can of beans, and stir in the cheese.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the cumin, chipotle chili powder, and garlic powder. Stir in the salsa so everything is combined evenly.
  • Add the salsa mixture to the salad, and stir to coat everything evenly.
  • Eat at room temperature, or chill and serve. Don't forget the tortilla chips!

Who Doesn't Like Brunch? Bauducco Panettone and Burlap Review

Apparently UPS doesn't like delivering to my apartment complex, because my Bauducco Panettone from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program arrived late!

Hubby and I were psyched to try this tasty-looking treat. Pictured below is the candied fruits and Sun-Maid Raisins variety. It was light, moist, and just sweet enough - perfect for a pre-dinner snack (or dessert!). We were both drinking white wine that evening, and Hubby discovered how tasty the sweet bread went with the dry, crisp finish of the wine. Unexpected but delicious pairing!

Yum! We devoured it in a few days :) We still have the chocolate chip panettone waiting for us to pounce on it, so I'm scheming up some tasty dessert or brunch idea for it. Thanks, Bauducco and Foodbuzz!

(Disclaimer: Foodbuzz sent me two loaves of Bauducco Panettone for free in exchange for my review. My opinion is my own. Thanks again for the treats!)

In other brunch news, Sign on San Diego had a recent coupon deal for Brian Malarkey's new restaurant, Burlap. Chef Malarkey was a Top Chef contestant and launched a very successful restaurant, Searsucker, in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. I visited Searsucker earlier this year and LOVED it, so I had high expectations for Burlap.

The restaurant's theme is "West East Meat" and has an Asian cowboy decor - wild and hard to explain, but super fun. You just have to see it for yourself! I forgot to take pictures of the inside, so check out their website here for more.

We started off with brunch cocktails (of course!). I chose a spicy Bloody Mary cocktail, and spicy it was! It was delicious, but I could only drink half of it since it was so salty. See those olives? They were stuffed with wasabi and ginger. FANTASTIC. I can't describe the taste but wow, they were good.

Hubby chose a cocktail with oatmeal stout, mint and vodka. It was surprisingly refreshing and tasted like a minty coffee cocktail. Sounds weird, but it was really good!

For my entree, I picked (description courtesy Burlap's website):

Oh. My. Word. This was the best eggs benedict I've had in my life. The cream cheese glaze was smooth and rich. The eggs were perfectly poached. The avocado and tomato made a great combination with the toasted bread. And let me tell you about that red potato There were roasted peppers (I think) mixed in with the sweet miso hollandaise sauce - it was amazing. The arugula salad had a refreshing, light dressing and was a much-needed balance to the rich food on the rest of the plate.

Hubby had the Char Su Banh Witch Mi - Burlap's take on a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. It was incredible. The pulled pork was sweet and spicy, and was perfectly complemented by the cilantro and pickles in the sandwich. He said it was the best he's ever had.

We also shared some sweet potato fries. They were epic.

In other words: next time you're in San Diego, don't miss Burlap for brunch! I would love to go back and try dinner or happy hour, so I'm happy to tag along :)

Burlap on Urbanspoon
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