Pantry Pandemic Cooking: Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or as a Side Dish)

This morning I'm really not in the mood to post, and this is actually a recipe I've posted on An American Housewife many times in the past 14 (15?) years.  So this is a quick picture I had posted on my Snapchat yesterday just to some friends and family; but I decided it might be a good idea to post here as a reminder of not only how yummy this is, but it's also easy to make and uses a lot of ingredients that you might already have stocked in your pantry and/or freezer during this Coronavirus pandemic!

We normally eat low carb so I don't have corn or black beans on hand but my local Walmart had black beans stocked this week when I did a grocery run, and my Sam's Club had a bulk box of 12 cans of corn in stock so... in the middle of a pandemic, you buy what your stores have stocked and you plan meals around it, right?  So... low carb be damned, we enjoyed this old family favorite with tortilla chips last night.  I think there is a little bit leftover; I hope so because I plan to have it for lunch!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or as a Side Dish)
Almost all ingredients are optional based on your preferences - add or delete and adjust the amounts to your tastes or what you have on hand!  Serve as is, with tortilla chips or with flour tortillas.

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can or  1 1/2 cups petite diced tomatoes
1 can yellow corn
1 can white corn
4-5 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 avocado, petite diced
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1-2 t minced fresh garlic
1 small can diced green chili
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced fine
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
Juice from 1 lime  (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 t cumin powder
Salt to taste (start with a teaspoon and taste test)

Mix together in a bowl.  Serve right away or chill 2 hours before serving.  Serve as a side dish, with tortilla chips or with flour tortillas.

This recipe was also included in an old post where I gave you 6 different yummy, fun recipes for salsa:  Six Salsa Recipes

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Quarantine Keto Cake - Chocolate Crunch Cake - sugar free and low carb

The last couple days of self-isolation have been rough!  What started out last week as 'hey I get to stay home!' turned into 'I have to stay home'.  And it got cloudy.  And rainy. And cold. 

Today I decided a cake would be made.

Now, during the last two weeks, strict keto and low carb has gone out the window.  Seriously... don't care.  We had out of town guests and I have some leftover regular foods like spaghetti, hamburger buns and pizzas left here and yes, we absolutely are using them!  Anything in the house during a pandemic is fair game.  :)

Today, to help me feel more normal, I decided I would bake a cake.  Because my pantry is stocked with sugar free sweeteners, almond flour and other low carb products, that's the kind of cake I made, obviously.  I do have some flour and sugar somewhere in the house, but it's packed away in "Christmas Baking" boxes in storage in a guest room closet.  I will probably break the flour out soon for homemade bread... but we aren't there yet.  We still have plenty of other options yet.

And with that long rambling intro....  the cake!  It's called Epic Chocolate Crunch Cake and it's from this low carb cookbook: Keto For Life.

Keto for Life
2 c erythritol, granulated
1 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 c butter, melted but not hot
6 eggs
2 oz. unsweetened Baker's chocolate, melted
2 t vanilla
3 c almond flour - good quality, fine, blanched
2/3 c coconut flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
4 t baking powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
1/8 t salt

2/3 c cocoa nibs ground with 1/4 c erythritol

- frosting

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and line with parchment, 2 - 9" round baking pans.  Place the sweetener, almond milk, butter, eggs, melted chocolate and vanilla into a blender and blend smooth.  Place the rest of the dry ingredients into a bowl and blend.  Add the liquid to the dry and mix.  Divide to the two pans and bake 35-50 minutes until they are done in the center.

Remove from the pans and let cool completely.

Pulse the cocoa nibs and sweetener for about 30 seconds in a small food processor.  Using your favorite sugarfree frosting, put a layer on top of one cake, sprinkle with most of the cocoa nibs and then top with the second layer.  If you have enough frosting, frost the whole cake, or just frost the top layer as I did in the photo if you are using less frosting or just one small batch.  Sprinkle with the cocoa nib/erythritol mixture.  Store in the refrigerator or the freezer.

The book says this is about 20 g carbs per slice (1/12)  with 13 g fiber to deduct. 

Two of my favorite cookbooks right now.......  available through Amazon (which is where I ordered them too!)

Keto for Life: Look Better, Feel Better, and Watch the Weight Fall off with 160+ Delicious High-Fat Recipes

Southern Keto: 100+ Traditional Food Favorites for a Low-Carb Lifestyle

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Santa Fe Roast - and leftovers are fabulous for tacos the next day!

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine going on right now you would think it'd be a great time to cook and bake and update my recipe site, but guess what?  I've got zero interest in posting.  None.

Am I still cooking?  Of course.  But meh.  Just not in the mood to blog or add to my recipe collection.

Still, I made an amazingly delicious roast (I posted it on Instagram if you follow me) and because I can post that one quick and easy, I will... and I'll try to get motivated to do a real post.

This marinade is one I usually use on chicken.  It's the marinade for our Santa Fe Salad, which uses grilled chicken.  About a week ago I used half a large chuck roast, and put the other half into this marinade and popped it into the freezer.  A couple days ago I took it out, popped it frozen into the crockpot, and after a few hours on high, poured off the excess (now liquid) marinade and continued to cook the roast until it was fall-apart tender.

Leftovers made great soft-shell and hard-shell tacos the next day - as is, or mixed with some refried beans for a beef/bean burrito or taco.

Santa Fe Roast


1 cup water
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T sugar (or natural sweeteners for lower carb diets)
1 T salt
1 T vinegar
1 t powdered chipotle pepper (could use 1/2 t cayenne, if it's all you have)
1 t hickory smoke flavoring
1 t paprika
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t round black pepper

Place your beef or chicken in the marinade and either marinate for at least 4-8 hours in the refrigerator, or place the whole thing into the freezer until needed for an even stronger flavor.  Grill or cook your chicken or beef as usual.


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