Thursday, April 7, 2011

Southwestern Corn and Bean Salad

Article first published as Recipe: Southwestern Corn and Bean Salad on Blogcritics.

I love high fiber, veggie-packed side dishes as accompaniments to burgers, grilled chicken, pork chops, or sandwiches.   Tonight I’m making a dish I’ve heard called  “Texas Caviar”, which has 2 kinds of beans, healthy olive oil, lots of veggies and cumin, an antioxidant-boosting spice.  This dish comes together in about 10 minutes and is also a great pairing with salmon, glazed with barbeque sauce.  You can also use the leftovers from this on top of torn romaine lettuce with some grilled chicken strips and salsa, for an easy southwestern main dish salad.  So versatile!  Tonight, I’m pairing it with Bacon Turkey Cheeseburgers.  I mix a bit of BBQ sauce, an egg white and some quick oats into lean ground turkey, seasoning with salt and pepper.   Then, I form them into patties and cook on a nonstick pan, sprayed with a little nonstick cooking spray.  I put the burgers on multi-grain sandwich thins and top them with more BBQ sauce, smoked reduced fat provolone cheese, lettuce, red onion, and tomato.  For a special, smoky treat, I add 1 slice of center cut bacon, cut in two pieces (center cut bacon is lower fat than regular bacon, but you can use turkey bacon for an even leaner version) to each burger.  It’s a filling, quick, inexpensive and healthy meal, which I’ll round out with a nice wheat beer and maybe a frozen, chocolate-covered banana for dessert.  Enjoy!

For the salad;

1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
½ cup red pepper, chopped
¾ cup carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, sliced thin


 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp hot sauce
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
 Mix all dressing ingredients together and whisk to blend.  Adapt salt, pepper and hot sauce amounts to your taste.  For the salad, chop all vegetables and rinse and drain beans well.  Toss together all ingredients except avocado and add dressing. Toss to coat.  Place in refrigerator and allow flavors to meld for at least 10 minutes and up to 45 minutes.  Garnish just before serving with avocado slices and a few sprigs of cilantro.  Love it! 

Note: If you’re studying my photo closely, you may be asking yourself what the little green beans are and where is the celery and avocado?  I like to sue what is in my refrigerator and adapt recipes to what I have on hand.  Today, I was out of celery and my avocado wasn’t yet ripe, so I skipped them.  Also, I had about ¼ cup of edamame leftover from last night’s meal, and a few strips of green pepper in my drawer, so I tossed those in too.  It’s all about making the recipe work for you and keeping your costs down, while boosting the flavors you really like!

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