I've been making corn and black bean salad for so long that I actually used to think that I was the one who made it up. Hah! The hubris of the young. For over a decade I've been dragging it to potlucks, whipping it up for quick dinners, and spooning it into plastic containers for lunch on the go. Black bean and corn salads are as common as the three bean salads of yesteryear now, but they've got a special, fresh pico de gallo and salsa-ish appeal, cooling and spicy in the same bite. Many of today's recipes call for bottled Italian dressing, but I like it much better with a quick lime vinaigrette. It's much healthier-even the light bottled dressing are chock full of additives- and will better compliment the zingy southwest flavors in the salad. I'll show you how to stretch this side into an all encompassing dinner meal, too.
Money Saving Tips: Use any extra corn on the cob by slicing off the kernels. Cook your own black beans and freeze them in zip top bags, pulling out what you need. Use whatever colorful veggies you have handy.
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Estimated Cost: $3.50
Notes: I've made this salad with no olive oil at all with great results. If you're dieting, leave it out.
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 cups corn kernels, (frozen and thawed, or canned, or cut off the cob)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, minced-or less if you like it wimpy
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of one lime
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Combine beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Sprinkle cumin and salt and pepper over the top. Drizzle with oil, lime juice and zest; taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings if necessary. Toss and serve.
For a main dish:
Add 2 cups each cooked brown rice and fully cooked meat, adding extra cumin, lime, and olive oil if necessary. I used leftover grilled chicken slices. You can also add in avocado, mango, or pineapple, like I did below.
Open Faced Apple and Cranberry Light Chicken Sandwiches