Simple Side

January 20,2010
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Do you meal plan? Yesterday I shared some things I have learned to help make meal planning a little less stressful. Yet even with my best planning in place (which does not happen every week), there are times when I realize I have come to meal time and don't really have a full meal planned. I'll give you a "for instance:" I have a main dish and a starch, but no vegetable. This recipe is a great way to create a side dish out of some common pantry items. It uses a can of beans or a can of corn, onion, garlic, vinegar and oil. Add a few spices, salt and pepper and you have a bean or corn relish. The cool thing is that you can alter this recipe to reflect the type of meal you are having. Typically a southwestern side, you can replace the traditional southwest spices with basil and oregano and make it more Italian. Or use parsley and thyme to make it have a more American taste. I often use black beans, but again, alter the recipe to your heart's content. Corn or Bean Relish 1 - 15 oz can yellow corn, drained -OR- 1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 medium onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup red pepper diced salt and pepper to taste Open you can of beans or corn. Mix with remaining ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste. Serves 4 as a side. SPC