Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Oh it is like a little fiesta in my mouth.  Spicy but cool and refreshing. The only thing better would be a mango margarita to wash it all down. Best part is how quick and easy you can go from opening a can of black beans to chowing down. 

A few months ago, I signed up for this email program that sent you a week's worth of vegetarian recipes every week for a year. The Fresh 20. Love, love, love the concept. (They have regular food and gluten-free menus as well) Unfortunately, I really have not ended up using it very much. There are some great sounding recipes and then some not-so-awesome-sounding recipes. I think if you don't cook much and need a day to day, healthy recipe plan, this would be a good place to start. It can just be a little redundant and not very adventuresome. (Is dietary ADHD a thing?) That being said, I have gotten some wonderful ideas for recipes and have expanded on some of their recipes. This recipe is inspired by one from this week, but omitted some of the fats, and added a little extra flavor with some jalapeno.



Spicy Black Bean Salad:

1 jalapeño 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 c tomato paste
1 can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can organic corn, drained and rinsed
3-4 c red lettuce, chopped
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c cooked corn
(I left out the tomatoes because it pains me to watch Larry pick every single one out)



  • In a medium sized saute pan, heat the oil with the garlic and jalapeño. Add the salt and cayenne pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the jalapeño begins to get soft. 
  • Mix in the beans, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. I sprinkled a little fresh cilantro in there at the end.
  • Place one serving of lettuce, a sprinkling of cheese, corn, and a heaping serving of the bean mixture. (It makes about 4 servings - or use two servings and save the rest for kick ass quesadillas for later in the week) Top with dressing. 

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

1 Avocado, chopped
1 c fat free greek yogurt
juice of one lime (plus a little extra)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 fist fulls of roughly chopped cilantro
water, if needed


  • Put everything in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet. Turn on.  Taste and season as necessary. Mine needed more lime because the first lime was not juicy enough. Once I got it right.... hot damn. I only ate like three huge spoonfuls before plating everything. (Ok and I licked the magic bullet mug clean)


This is not a photogenic meal. (Ok, really, my food photog skills blow...) But definitely worth making....even if it is just really for the dressing....