Showing posts with label Bean Salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bean Salad. Show all posts

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Spicy black bean salad with lime and cilantro #recipe #mystery #giveaway @AbbottMysteries

What is more refreshing than lime and cilantro? And they both go so well with black beans. If you know us, you know that we love our bean salads. They are especially good if you are trying to bring down the carbs and also great if you’re going gluten-free.  If you just want to increase the proportion of veggies to ‘other’ then they are for you. Plus, like the gift that keeps on giving, they are better the next day. Most of our bean or lentil salads are savory, but the lime and cilantro give this one an exotic taste, that is ramped up by the seasonings.   

I wanted it as a side for our annual writers get together at Lake of Bays, Ontario. I tested it at home and DH and I both loved it. At the writers’ get together, Linda and I were a team for dinner. Because of the lime and cilantro, this went well with the chicken skewers and peanut sauce.  I’ll post the chicken skewers and peanut sauce recipe in two weeks! Wait for it.  

 This black bean salad is very pretty and everyone liked it, although I did forget the avocado on day one.  I added that the second day for lunch and and one more ingredient.   It was a hit both days.

All in all, we find this recipe to be a keeper. I think you can mix and match veggies as long as you keep to the essential lime and cilantro ingredients.  Giveaway alert:  we’ll have a draw for a copy of The Hammett Hex (or substitute). All you have to do is spot the new ingredient in the second version and mention in a comment.  Get your detective chefs hats on and good luck!

All you need for Spicy Black Bean Salad with Lime and Cilantro

      1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
      1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
      2 green onions, sliced (white and green)
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons sugar ( I usually use Splenda)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice from 3 1/2 limes
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus some for garnish
1 ripe avocado chopped

All you do is:

Rinse and drain beans.

Dice peppers, We're just showing the yellow here.

Seed and chop tomato.

Slice green onions.

Chop cilantro.  Not sure where that photo went!

Combine all veggies except for avocado in a large bowl and mix well. 

In a pitcher, combine oil, limes zest and juice, salt, sugar and Sriracha.  

 Please notice the size of Sriracha I had to buy to get the one tsp.  The avocado will give you a sense of proportion.  Have since found smaller containers, but you can expect to find Sriracha as an ingredient in many recipes to come.

Mix dressing into salad.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or even overnight. Right before serving, chop avocado, add to salad and fold gently, being careful not to squish the avocado..  Serve the salad at room temperature.

With the chicken and Linda's great veggie dish (coming soon!), it was a hit.  

Any suggestions for how to change this up (as they say).  You can see what I did, but what would you add or subtract from it?  

Here it is on day two, with an addition and the avocado.

Happy eating everyone!

Mystery Lovers Kitchen is celebrating it’s
7th anniversary!

7 years of recipes, books, and loads of fun.
As we begin our 8th year of the blog,
help us celebrate by entering our photo contest.
5 people will win a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag
and the 9 mysteries shown below - one from each of us!
Don't delay, enter today!

Photo of prize

Here's how it goes:

1. Take a picture of any one OR MORE of our books (does not have to be one shown above) in the following categories:
a) with a cat
b) with a dog
c) having summer fun
d) in a library
e) in a bookstore

Whose books?

Why the 9 Mystery Lovers Kitchen authors, of course.

Krista Davis * Cleo Coyle *  Leslie Budewitz  
Daryl Wood Gerber * Lucy Burdette * Linda Wiken  
Sheila Connolly * Peg Cochran* Victoria Abbott what you gotta do! There's a sweet prize at stake.

2. Submit your picture below.
Submission period ends midnight July 25th.

3. Share your entry (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or else-wise,
we'll be flexible). 

We'll choose one winner in each category!

5 chances to win! Good luck!

In case you don't know, Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between  me, Mary Jane Maffini, and my daughter Victoria. Together we write the book collector mysteries.   We think that reading them is like taking a lovely trip to a mysterious place where books are everything and, yes, murder happens and great meals are served and some relatives are not to be trusted. Of course, justice prevails in the end and books are loved.


We like to think our book collector mysteries are fun, easy to read and surprising too. All five titles are available in print, e-book and audio format. Don't miss out.  You can get to meet Peachy (posing below) aka Walter the Pug.  Watch out for the Siamese cats - one is good and one will get you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Calico Salad


Nothing beats a hot, steaming 3-bean salad.

Unless…it’s 100 degrees. Then the last thing I want are hot vegetables.

I’ve been eating sliced tomatoes as part of lunch all summer. And I make salads like calico salad to get my veggie fix in…in a cooler way.RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]

Now, this recipe is the crack-open-a-can and mix it together type. Would it be even better with fresh veggies from your garden or farmer’s market? I’m sure! You might want to give it a go. I’m being a little lazy this summer (we’ll blame the heat. I’m sure that’s it.) :)

I love the pimentos in the recipe (or, as my fellow Southerners will say, pahmennas!) And the chickpeas are yummy, too.


Calico Salad

2 small or 1 large cans of shoepeg corn, drained
14 oz early peas, drained
1 can lima beans, drained
14 oz french green bean, drained
1 cup chickpeas, drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pimento
1/2 cup chopped red onion


1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 c vinegar
1 T water
1 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Mix together the drained vegetables. Mix the ingredients for the dressing and boil for one minute. Cool the dressing and pour over the vegetables. Chill overnight.

Eat your veggies! And stay cool. :)

Delicious and Suspicious (Riley Adams)
Finger Lickin’ Dead—June 7 (book 2 of the Memphis BBQ series!) It’s here!
Download it on Kindle:
Mass market paperback:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jessica Conant-Park on "Leftover Failure"

Please welcome our guest blogger for today, mystery author Jessica Conant-Park. (That's Jessica in the photo below with her adorable son, Nicholas.)
Jessica is not just a great cook and foodie, she's married to a professional chef and co-authors the fantastic series of culinary-themed Gourmet Girl mysteries.

Lucky for us, the paperback edition of her latest Gourmet Girl adventure, FED UP, hits stores shelves this week! Huzzah! And her new hardcover, COOK THE BOOKS, is coming in March. And now, here's the Goumet Girl herself,
Jessica Conant-Park!

~ Cleo Coyle

The Leftovers. Blech, right? Visions of overcooked pasta, dried out casseroles, soggy salad, and congealed fish dancing in your head? Yeah, me, too. Usually. Unless it’s a hearty soup that has doubled its flavor overnight (as many good soups do!), then I usually dread leftovers. But, aside from soup, I have two exceptions to this attitude: Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Both days we go to my parents’ house and my mother puts together a fantastic meal with the things I’ve demanded be served. (I’m a brat.) My favorites are the main meat dish (usually a crown roast of pork or a decadent prime rib), a cheese and cream laden scalloped potato dish, her absolutely perfect green salad, a cheese course, and finally her ultra-rich chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream. And each holiday I gorge myself silly. But even before the actual meal I am already anticipating what leftovers I’ll be bringing home. Look, there’s only so much even I can eat in one sitting, but give me a few days and I can really pack it in.

So the meat dish, the potatoes, and the expensive sampling of cheeses are all perfectly delicious treats for the few days after the holiday. I just don’t run around paying a small fortune for delicacies throughout the year and so, believe me, I take advantage of free food when I can get it. The joys of being an only (gluttonous) child.

I will admit in the privacy of this blog that I had a particularly selfish moment this season when it was unclear if three of our guests would be joining us at Christmas dinner… and my first thought was, More leftovers! That’s awful. I know that. I’m a terrible person and I’ll work on being less vile in 2010.

But as apparent punishment for my greedy thoughts, my anxiety about remembering to take my fair share of leftovers seemed to have depleted some of my brain cells, because I screwed up at Thanksgiving. And at Christmas. Big time.

I spent the day after Thanksgiving salivating at the thought of reheating the pork roast and the gooey potatoes for dinner. The way the cheesy potatoes’ sauce would run across the plate and coat the meat…. Ahhhh, it would be bliss! But as I began rooting through the fridge, I could not find the meat. I found side dishes, and chocolate sauce, and the potatoes…. But no meat. I swear that I had heart palpitations as I called my husband at work, hoping beyond hope that he’d stashed the leftovers in some secure part of the fridge. I must be blind with hunger and not seeing what was surely right in front of me, right? No luck. I called my mother who located MY pork in HER fridge. Seriously, people, my emotional upset at this error was no laughing matter. What the heck was I supposed to have with my potatoes now? I could practically taste what I was missing, but even my hallucinating skills were not vaguely satisfying.

Okay, I resolved, this hideous leftover failure on my part will NOT happen at Christmas. But, yeah. It did. Mom had assembled a particularly noteworthy cheese selection this year. Epoisse (which is one of the smelliest, gooiest, richest cheeses out there), St. Andre (to die for!), Explorateur (another triple-cream delight), a smooth, spreadable blue, a firm goat’s milk, and a few others that I’ve blocked out because the memory is too painful. But by the time we got to the cheese course at the end of the meal, I was stuffed and didn’t eat nearly my share. No worries: there would be plenty of leftovers. I never pay that kind of money for a multitude of cheeses just to keep around my house, so this would be a treat. God, the next few days were sure to be lovely.

And you know what I did? I helped clean up the table, divided up all the goods, wrapped up little packages, and promptly forgot the cheese! All of it. Not one little hint of Epoisse for me. Again, the emotional trauma that ensued the next day was not pretty. There were the usual frantic calls to my husband and mother. And the usual tragic result.

I’ve been craving cheese since December 27th and so used New Year’s Eve as an excuse to spend an ungodly sum of money at the supermarket and throw together a meat and cheese plate. I was in a huge rush on the 31st and basically ran through the supermarket at top speed, haphazardly throwing things into my basket. I won’t tell you what I spent, but I’m not proud of myself. And the kicker is that the supermarket selection pales in comparison to what one could find at a specialty shop. Again, a rather ordinary selection was probably appropriate punishment for my selfish approach to leftovers. But our gourmet-ish plate of munchies was still lovely, although not viable competition for my mother’s.

So my New Year’s resolution for 2010 is to never again forget valuable leftovers. Never!


As I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of leftover salad. My mother, God love her, will eat a soggy nightmare the next day. But I won’t. I want fresh, crisp, perfect. I have one beautiful hand-carved salad bowl but really wanted more, so for I asked for a few for Christmas. I got two gorgeous ones: A medium sized dark one from Crate and Barrel, and a very large one from the Vermont Bowl Company.
I guarantee both are already being put to good use. (Side note: My mother-in-law wrapped the bowl she gave me just in wrapping paper, revealing it’s shape and obviously not disguising the gift. My son Nicholas thought it was very un-Christmas like of me when, on Christmas morning, I kept shouting, “I wanna open my salad bowl!”)

Here is the salad that my mother makes on a regular basis. It’s very simple but sometimes a light, uncluttered bowl is heaven. You won’t need all the dressing here, but it will keep for ages. Feel free to play around with ingredient amounts… I happen to like a really spicy dressing so I sometimes add more mustard, and I’m a mint fanatic so I also use a ton of that. But adjust as you like!

1 cup olive oil (a light/medium blend)
1 Tablespoon good quality Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 good squeeze fresh lemon juice (don’t you dare try and use that junk that comes out of a plastic lemon!)
Salt and pepper, to taste (Be generous. An under-seasoned salad is a waste.)

Mix all together and let stand at least ½ hour before using. Refrigerate leftovers.

1-2 heads Boston/Baby Bibb lettuce, thoroughly washed (unless you enjoy grit.)
¼ thinly sliced red onion
½ cup fresh tomatoes (in the winter I like grape tomatoes, cut in half)
1/3 cup good feta (Trader Joe’s carries a delicious kind that comes in a white and blue container… I forget the name, but it is wonderful.)
1 small handful chopped fresh mint
1 small handful Calamata olives

That’s it! Toss with the dressing and you’re set!


In book news, the fourth Gourmet Girl mystery, FED UP, is out in paperback on January 4th. I love this book because there is both a baby shower and wedding in it, and who doesn’t love those scenes, right? I also throw out a juicy cliffhanger at the end… But don’t worry, COOK THE BOOKS comes out in March and I promise I take care of it then.

I’m also blogging with my pal Michele Scott at Adventuresnwriting. Or rather, I occasionally blog there when I think of it. Mostly I write about stupid things like Levi Johnston’s photo shoot, Lady Gaga’s outfits, or inform the public about very insightful things my kid has said. (BTW, his most recent eye-rolling statement was that the parents from Cheaper By the Dozen “must have had a lot of sex!”) So I suppose I should resolve to blog more. I’ll work on it. And Michele is generally better behaved than I am, so we balance each other out. She and I also have a Food Fiction newsletter that we send out every few months with recipes, book news, contests, and wonderful guests. We’d love to have you sign up, so stop by our site and enter your email address in the form!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Welcome Guest Blogger--Patricia Stoltey

The Desert Hedge MurdersPatricia is the author of the August release, The Desert Hedge Murders, the second book in the Sylvia and Willie mystery series. She loves to look at the pictures in her new favorite cookbook, the Junior League of Denver's colorado classique: A Collection of Fresh Recipes from the Rockies. Visit her blog at

When Riley Adams invited me into the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen,Patricia Stoltey my first reaction was to laugh. My goal is to throw a meal together in about thirty minutes and clean up in ten. Occasionally I cook from a recipe, although to me a recipe is a lot like the scene outline I use to write novels—it serves as a guide, but it won’t hold me back if I come up with a better idea along the way.

I was raised on a farm where the mid-day meal during the growing season was intended to feed a room full of field hands. A common meal included a big platter of fried chicken, a ton of mashed potatoes, white gravy, and vegetables out of the garden. Many years later, when I spent two years in the South of France, my taste buds went through culture shock. I adapted quickly, however, and brought home a few new habits. For instance, I use a lot of extra virgin olive oil and Herbes de Provence.

Food_Blog4Oct2009_AcornSquash Here are my guidelines for down home French cooking Colorado style:

1. Keep it simple.

2. Keep it colorful.

3. Use as many locally grown products as possible (but go aheadFood_Blog4Oct2009_NorwegianSalmon and choose Norwegian salmon and French wine from time to time).

4. Avoid packaged products with a long list of strange ingredients.

5. Change recipes to suit your tastes and use whatever you have on hand.

6. Be creative.

I make up a lot of recipes just for fun. Sometimes they turn out well, sometimes not so much. I still blush to think of the frozen peach yogurt pie I served company last year. It was so solid that when one of my guests pushed her fork into the slice, most of the piece sailed off her plate and onto the floor.

On the other hand, here’s an interesting side salad I developed that tastes great (and I think it’s much better than the traditional three-bean salad).

Food_Blog4Oct2009_Meal Bean Salad: Prepare about two cups of frozen shelled edamame according to directions on the package. Rinse and drain one can of garbanzo beans and one can of dark red or kidney beans. Toss the edamame, garbanzo beans and kidney beans in a bowl with homemade vinaigrette dressing. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, stirring the salad occasionally to mix well.

Homemade vinaigrette: In a container with a lid (so you can shake the dressing before serving), mix 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon sugar. You may, of course, vary the amounts of mustard, herbs and sugar according to taste. And if you don’t care for the stronger flavor of olive oil, substitute canola oil.

Thanks a bunch for inviting me to visit the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. It’s been fun.