Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Do you think people in other countries celebrate the 4th of July by eating hot dogs and cool whip with blueberries and strawberries in the shape of the American flag? 

Probably not. 

Still, that doesn't stop us from eating corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, Chinese food during Chinese New Year and Mexican food on the Cinco de Mayo. 

Am I complaining? No way. I love all those foods. Especially any excuse to eat Mexican food. 

Mexican food has a special status in our house because it's the only type of food that is an automatic slam dunk as far as my husband liking it. We could eat Mexican food every night and he probably would be perfectly happy. I love it, too, and luckily enough for me I've collected some great lighter Mexican recipes so that we can enjoy it often and not feel guilty about it. This black bean salad is certainly not authentic Mexican, but it's one of my favorites and would go well with any Cinco de Mayo celebration. For a color eater like me, the corn and tomatoes and cilantro in the salad really make it for me. My husband loves the avocado, of course, and we both like the fresh lime flavor. The salad is great on its own, great with chips, great in a wrap - just all around great. 

Horray for Cinco de Mayo, and eating Mexican food to our heart's content.  

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

1 T olive oil
2 cups thawed frozen corn
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 tomato, cored, seeded and chopped medium
3 T minced fresh cilantro
2 green onions, sliced thin
3 T fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (remove seeds for less spiciness)
1/2 tsp honey
salt and pepper
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1. In a large bowl, mix together the corn, beans, tomato and cilantro.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the green onions, lime juice, chipotle, honey, oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper together. Pour over the salad and toss gently to coat.

3. Gently fold in the avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. 

To make ahead: Prepare through step 2, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Season with additional lime juice to taste before continuing with step 3. 

Recipe Source: adapted from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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