Hunger Action Month: Fiesta Corn Salad


Happy Tuesday, kiddos! Hope you are having a good week.

This is the last full week of Hunger Action Month, which means this is the final food pantry-friendly recipe that I am sharing with all of you ( 😦 ) . While you can alter ingredients in the two soup recipes I shared earlier this month, this salad is truly versatile. It can be served as a hearty side to grilled meats or can be transformed into a complete meal when it is spooned over rice. Versatility is always a good thing (and makes leftovers seem a bit more imagined!).

What makes this salad so great is that it is a true open-dump-mix kind of recipe. Crack open the cans, dump them into a bowl, and you’re ready to eat. A quick meal that can be on the table in ten minutes but is still packed with good nutrition (music to this RD’s ears).

This Fiesta Corn Salad begins with beans.


I chose to use a combination of black beans and dark red kidney beans, but if you like a particular bean better, it’s totally cool to use that (pinto beans, anyone?). Just make sure that you drain the beans and rinse them very well to remove the salty packing liquid.

Then you need to dump in some corn kernels.


Again, make sure they are drained and rinsed well – studies have shown that draining and rinsing canned vegetables and beans reduces the amount of sodium they contain (!). So not only are you removing the gloopy “sauce” the veggies are canned with, you are also removing some of the sodium! Because who needs extra sodium in their diets (no one!).

The final canned good in this recipe is canned diced tomatoes with chilies.


I cracked open a can and poured it over the corn and beans – this time I did not drain the liquid off… this helps create the “sauce” for the bean salad.


Look at those big chunks of chilies! The basic canned chopped tomato with chilies is fairly mild but you can always buy a brand labeled “hot” if you want your salad to have a little bit of a kick.

All that’s left is to squeeze over some fresh lime juice.


It adds some acidity to the salad that makes all the flavors brighten.

Then it’s time to serve it up and dig in!


I hope you enjoy this food pantry-friendly recipe and share it with your family, friends, and community! If you try this recipe or donate its ingredients to your local food pantry, let me know using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together, we can end hunger.



Fiesta Corn Salad

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1-15oz can corn kernels, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-150z can diced tomatoes with chilies

1 lime



In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, and tomatoes (juice and all!). Squeeze the juice of the lime over the salad. Stir gently to combine.


Nutrition Information (1 serving):

Calories: 184 kcal Carbohydrates: 33gm Protein: 10.5gm Fat: 0.3gm Dietary Fiber: 9gm Sodium: 775mg

Cost per recipe: $4.76

Cost per serving: $0.79

Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad


I love a good easy summertime side.

Because sometimes you just don’t want to deal with mayo/sour cream, long cooking times, or having the oven or stove on for long periods of time in the middle of August.

That’s why I am a big fan of marinated salads.

They are vinegar-based, which means low food-borne illness risk (yay food safety!) and they are made and served cold, which means no hot surfaces are needed (because who wants to be chained to the stove on a beautiful day?).

Marinated salads are late summer supper saviors (say that three times fast!).

And this is my favorite – Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad. All the color and beauty of summertime in fast salad form. (plus it’s really delicious!)

It starts with really good tomatoes.


I got these babies from the local farmer’s market – I just love their bright red color and their sweet flavor this time of year. But if your grocery store has some good lookin’ tomatoes, buy them and make this salad!

Next, grab yourself a cucumber – an English, or seedless, cucumber to be exact.


Then chop it into big chunks! I use a seedless cucumber because I personally find it a little less bitter than a traditional cucumber and also because I am lazy – the seeds are so tiny and tender in this type of cucumber that you don’t even have to seed it (which means we can eat quicker!). I also leave on the skin for added color and a bit of extra fiber.


Finally, add in some finely sliced scallions for an onion-y kick and some freshness.


All that’s left to do is dress the salad with your favorite vinaigrette. This is my homemade stand-by that is always in a mason jar in the fridge – olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano. If you don’t have the homemade stuff, any good basic vinaigrette works here.


All that’s left is to toss and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the veggies to marinate and lets the flavors come together and meld… AKA it takes the salad from delicious to divine!


Then all you need to do is serve it alongside your favorite summer dishes, like grilled chicken, steaks, or hearty pasta dishes. It is a fresh, easy (and healthy) side dish that will definitely please your guests at your next gathering.

Enjoy, everyone!

Your marinated salad obsessed friend,


Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 medium-to-large tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 large seedless cucumber, quartered and cut into chunks

1-2 medium scallions, finely sliced

½ cup vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, and scallion. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine – you can adjust the amount of dressing based on your personal preferences. Set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes to allow the favors to come together. Serve alongside your favorite grilled meats or pasta dishes.


Nutritional Information (1 serving):

108 calories Ÿ• 8gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 1gm protein Ÿ• 9gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 492mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 24mg calcium


Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: ⅛ cup - one person
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano


Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutritional Information (⅛ cups):

130 calories Ÿ• 2gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 0gm protein Ÿ• 14gm fat Ÿ• 2gm saturated fat Ÿ• 800mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 26mg calcium

Salad Nicoise

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope everyone is having a good week.


My week has been crazy, tiring, and enlightening all at once. The ICU has been an eye-opening learning experience and I have seen and done so much!

But after two weeks of go, go, go, my brain said no, no, no to any more work last night. So I decided that a little dinner in front of the TV would be the perfect break!

I seem to be on a salad kick lately, so I decided that I was going to make the French classic with a simplified twist!

I first had Salad Nicoise at the Rodin Museum in Paris, France. It was the perfect combination of oil-packed tuna fish, crisp haricot vert (French green beans), olives, and hard-boiled egg. It was the perfect combination of flavors and textures and it has become one of my favorite go-to salads on busy nights.

My spin on a salad nicoise starts with a base of arugula.


I know the traditional salad is only green beans as the base, but I like the fresh, peppery bite that the arugula gives to the salad.

But that doesn’t mean that I totally ditched the green beans! My mom found frozen haricot vert at a local supermarket and I toss them frozen into a skillet and sauté them in a little olive oil until they are nice and crispy.


Then I place the green beans on the arugula. A pretty burst of spring green on a cold winter night!

Which I follow with some diced up leftover potatoes.


Roasted, lemon potatoes… yummy!

I layer the tuna fish next.


It’s starting to look so pretty! I love pretty food, don’t you?

The final row is the hard-boiled egg.


Sprinkled with a little extra salt, they are the perfect end to this salad.


Did I mention that I love pretty food?

The final touch is a drizzle of salad dressing.


I am super particular about dressing this salad (salad dressing on the eggs… no thank you!), so I use a spoon to drizzle it over the salad. But if you are not persnickety like me, go ahead and pour on salad dressing (it’s so much faster!).

Then dig in!


It is the perfect busy night supper (especially in front of a cheesy Christmas movie!).


Enjoy, kiddos!

Your salad makin’ friend,


Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon


It is now (un)officially fall, which means that I can unapologetically consume every pumpkin, apple, spice, and cranberry product within arms reach without anyone questioning my sanity (and season identifying skills).

My parents left me (and The Cat) home alone this weekend with a plethora of leftover grilled salmon, which we took upon ourselves to finish…

So, in honor of the new season, I decided to make a fall salad and top it with some of the grilled salmon.

And it was the perfect answer to all of my life’s dreams and goals.


It starts with the “fall” components of the salad.


Dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and some sliced green onion. Sweetness, crunch, and zip.

The lettuce I used was some arugula that was hanging out in my fridge, but you can use any type of lettuce you like.


Confession… the lighting was wonderful on/around my stove, so I took all my pictures on the range top. Please don’t judge me (but how awesome do the pictures look though!).


Place a piece of salmon on top of the arugula.


Sprinkle on the dried cranberries.


The sliced almonds.


And the green onions.


Then some red wine vinaigrette dressing.

This is how you make it (super easy and so yummy)!


In a container with a tight sealing lid, pour in some olive oil.


Then add some red wine vinegar.


And a good amount of mustard, salt, pepper, and dried oregano.


Put on the lid and shake vigorously!


Then you have a perfect vinaigrette that you can use on everything.


Like Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon!


Enjoy, kiddos!

Your salad makin’ friend,


Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: one person
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano



Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.