It’s Memorial Day and I hit the local Lowe’s Garden Center first thing this morning, my unkempt hair swept back into a knot at the nape of my neck and smelling of Deep Woods Off. I went outside early to water my plants since we haven’t had rain since Friday. The majority of the herbs I’d sown from seed still aren’t sprouting, and the ones that are sprouting may not be mature enough to actually use in my kitchen until summer is over! So I bit the bullet and went to buy some.
Squirrels…ugh! While I was at Lowe’s I also picked up a couple more packets of sunflower seed–because I had two rows planted and the squirrels dug up all but three of the plants that had come up as of yesterday. I went out to water this morning and found one of those last three plants uprooted and laying limp next to a two-inch wide pit that marked the location of its former home.
In addition to the sunflowers, the squirrels dug up my watermelons and pumpkins three times before they finally decided there wasn’t any dirt left to dig. I now have little baby watermelon and pumpkin plants coming to life, and I don’t want to chance the squirrels digging them up yet again…so I got creative! How is this for a squirrel deterrent:
Plastic forks left over from Logan’s birthday party! I found the idea on Pinterest and really hope it works! I’m also going to pick up some Cayenne Pepper when I get groceries tomorrow, and I’ll sprinkle that on the ground around the forks as well, just as an added layer of protection.
In the meantime, I have this delicious black bean salsa marinating for its third day in the refrigerator for lunch! Since it’s Memorial Day, many of us are doing the traditional pot lucks and back yard barbecues, so I thought I would share a dish that doubles as a dip, and a base for countless meals. A coworker always brings this to our work food days, so I asked her for the recipe and I’ve made it countless times since!
Black Bean Salsa:
- 3 15oz cans Black Beans, rinsed
- 1 can White Shoepeg Corn, drained but not rinsed
- 3/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
- 1/4 cup Lime Juice
- 3 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 Tsp Cumin
- 3/4 cup Chopped Red Sweet Pepper
- 3/4 cup Chopped Red Onion
- 4 chopped Jalapenos, deseeded and deveined
- salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight before serving. Keeps for one week in the refrigerator.
Now for all of the ways that I use this salsa:
- As a dip with multigrain tortilla chips
- As a vegetarian/vegan filling for tacos and burritos
- As a topping for nachos
- On salads
- In pitas with hummus for a Greek sandwich
I made a half batch of this salsa first thing Saturday morning, and have used it for every lunch and dinner since. I spread a tablespoon of hummus inside a pita pocket, added a layer of lettuce, then spooned in a cup of this salsa and topped it with a few banana pepper rings. For dinner I sautéed some kale, peppers and onions, mixed in some quinoa, then stirred in another cup of this salsa for a one-dish meal.
On Sunday I made the same pita pocket for lunch, then made nachos for dinner using multigrain tortilla chips, a cup or two of torn lettuce, a cup of the black bean salsa, shredded cheese, half of a diced avocado, banana pepper rings and a tablespoon of hummus. And today I’m going to top a salad with a cup of this salsa, some more banana pepper rings, and a tablespoon of Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing (my favorite salad dressing).
This stuff is truly multi-faceted and it is something I always try to keep ingredients on hand for because it is so easy to make, a batch of it will last for days, and it’s a very healthy, vegan-friendly, crowd pleasing dip that fits perfectly into the Mediterranean Diet.
Please enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day!