Kick the can: Using fresh seasonal veggies

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As spring turns into summer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are beginning to come into season. That means a lot of the great dishes you cook month in and month out don’t have to come in a can anymore.

Corn is grown around the world and is one of the globe’s most widely used food staples.

Contrary to popular belief, there is nutritional value in corn and there’s no need to avoid it because it has “too much sugar.”

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It’s true that corn is a starchy vegetable and therefore has more carbohydrates and calories than other veggies. And corn most often gets a bad rap because people slather it in butter or salt or some other unhealthy condiment.

Corn is just fine as it is: right off or on the cob.

You can boil it or grill it. It’s pretty easy. If you don’t think you can cook, pick up an ear of corn. You’ll be a regular Julia Child.

If you want a little something “snappier” than just an ear of corn, then gives this recipe a try.

Mexican food is one of my favorites and this recipe calls for several vegetables that are in season.

You’ll need:

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

11 ounces corn off the husk (that’s about 3 ears)

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

half a bunch of cilantro

Tortilla chips

In a bowl, combine the beans, corn, tomato, avocado and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and hot pepper sauce and cumin.

Pour the liquid over the bean mixture and toss to coat.

Chop the cilantro and stir the entire mixture.

Serve with tortilla chips.

This is a great little salsa-like dip that isn’t too filling and is paired well with just about any traditional Mexican dish.

It’s also a great replacement for traditional salsa.

If you’re just dead set on eating your corn on the cob try a few variations on the regular, “throw it in the pot and boil it.”

If you’re going to grill it, make sure you keep the husk on. It prevents the kernels from burning and gives it a nice smoky flavor.

Also, soak the ears in water for a few hours. It also helps prevent burning.

Speaking of smoke, the next time you fire up the smoker for a barbeque, throw your corn on there.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at