Crispy Corncakes with Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Serves 4.

Note: Cornmeal cakes, topped with a brightly flavored chopped salad, make a satisfying and summery vegetarian meal. Roasting the corn kernels before adding them to both the cakes and the salad gives them a slightly chewy texture and deliciously caramelized flavor. From Meredith Deeds.

• 2 c. corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

• 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 1 c. yellow or white cornmeal

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1 c. low-fat buttermilk

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

• 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

• 1 tsp. honey

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

• 2 c. chopped romaine lettuce

• 1 (15 oz. can) black beans, drained and rinsed

• 1/2 avocado, diced

• 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes

• 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

• 1/4 c. crumbled Cotija cheese (a salty Mexican cheese; can substitute grated Parmesan)

Directions

To prepare the corncakes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss together the corn kernels, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until lightly browned, stirring around at least once, for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add in the buttermilk, butter and 1 cup roasted corn kernels and stir until just blended. Set aside until the salad is assembled.

To make the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, honey, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the 1 cup corn, beans, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeño and toss to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Lightly coat the pan with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Drop batter into skillet using 2 heaping tablespoons for each cake. Cook until bubbles break on top of each corn cake and turn them over. Cook another few minutes, or until the bottoms of the cakes are lightly browned. Divide the cakes between 4 plates. Top with salad, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 540 Fat 28 g Sodium 1,285 mg

Carbohydrates 64 g Saturated fat 8 g Calcium 299 mg

Protein 15 g Cholesterol 25 mg Dietary fiber 14 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 bread/starch, 2 other carb, 1 lean meat, 5 fat.