Thursday, May 1, 2014

Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

I used to make this salad a lot, especially when I was cooking for vegetarians. It is full of protein for energy and healthy fat which helps to make you feel full and satiated.  I love the combination of the beans, avocado and citrus.  I make this salad at home and have it as a quick snack in the middle of the day.

Serve as a side dish on top a bed of lettuce or as part of a make-your-own taco bar. Increase the amount of jalapeno peppers if you favor it a little hotter. During the summer replace the canned corn with fresh grilled corn off the cob to give it a smokier, outdoor flavor.

Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

makes 3 to 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
½ firm-ripe avocado, peeled, cut into small cubes
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
½ small red onion, small dice (about ¼ cup)
½ cup sweet yellow corn (canned or fresh)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, more for garnish
1 tsp honey
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Place beans, avocado, bell pepper, onion, corn, tomato and jalapeno in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl mix lime juice, oil, cilantro, honey, salt and pepper with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour vinaigrette over the bean mixture and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Top salad with extra cilantro leaves and let chill before serving.

3. Make at least an hour before serving so that the beans can taste on the flavor of the vinaigrette. Stir a couple times to distribute the beans in the vinaigrette. Cut and add the avocado just before serving. 

The Black Bean Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. The avocado may brown if making the salad more than a day before eating so hold off on cutting up the avocado and add it on the day it is being served.

I have canned black beans here which are easy to use if you are short on time. If you have more time then using dried black beans are really nice and have better flavor since they are fresh.  

To use dried black beans, place 2 cups dried black (turtle) beans in a bowl big enough to handle the beans once they double in size.  Cover with water about 4 inches above the level of the beans.  Let beans soak for at least 8 hours, overnight is better.  When you are ready to cook them, drain the soaking water and place beans in a pot. Pour in new water about 4 - 5 inches above the level of the beans. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the beans are boiling, turn down heat until beans are gently bouncing around in the water.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste a couple to see if they are done, add more time if they are still hard.  Drain, cool and enjoy! 

When I cook beans from scratch I also add other ingredients to the pot depending on what kind of dish the beans will eventually go into.  I always add chopped onion, bay leaf, couple garlic cloves and chopped tomatoes or a little tomato paste. 


Enjoy!

2 comments:

le Chef said...

Andrea, so happy to have found your blog! I notice there hasn't been a post for some time. Hope your still in "biz" .. so to speak :) I'm a chef / baker / cheese maker in WA and have been looking for healthier means of creating the craft
Keep Blogging!

Andrea said...

Thank you so much Le Chef. Yes, I am still here blogging. I have been helping a brand new Gluten Free Bakery get up and running since the Fall which has consumed all my time. I am now back at my desk taking the time to write and back in my kitchen playing around. Hopefully we will run into each other again on the internet.