Thursday, May 1, 2008

Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing (!)

Here's a spicy but wonderful main dish salad. Just leave out some of the chili pepper seeds* if you want a little less zing with your salad.

Mix together in a large bowl, gently:

2 cups corn, fresh or frozen (can use leftover cooked corn)
1 pound dried black beans, cooked, rinsed & drained
4 scallions (green onions), cut into very thin slices
1 medium jicama, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium size ripe avocado, peeled and chopped

Optional: cooked brown rice or other cooked whole grain added to above mix

Chili Lime Dressing:

Boil in small pan:

3 T. water
1 small chipotle pepper (a smoked & dried jalapeno pepper^)

Cook for 2 minutes turning frequently. Set aside until cool enough to handle (alternatively, you can soak the pepper in warm water for a longer time til soft).

Meanwhile, put into blender:

2 T. olive oil
5 T. fresh lime juice
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (or 2 t. dried)

When the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the stem (*remember if you want it less hot, remove some of the seeds first before continuing). Wash hands immediately to remove the "hot" from your hands, being careful not to touch your face until you do. Then put the pepper and its cooking water into the blender with the oil, lime juice, etc. Cover and blend on high for a few seconds.

Add to blender while running on low:

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

Continue to blend for a few seconds. Stir in any salt or other seasonings as desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Mix with above bean mixture as needed. You may want to reserve some salad separately before putting dressing on it, for children who don't like it so hot. Great served with some quality tortilla chips on the side.

Optional: serve with some thin shreds of lettuce on the side or whole Romaine lettuce leaves for "wrapping" this salad and to add a little more greens to your meal. Yummy! =)

This dressing recipe makes more than enough for one salad. Keep extra dressing in a jar in the fridge. Dressing is good for 2-3 corn and bean salads like this one. Or you may use in other dishes or salads to give it some spicy flavor.

^If you are sensitive to smoked foods, try a fresh chili pepper of your choice instead. My husband was having headaches every single day from enjoying the leftover dressing on our salads after I initially made this. He loved the flavor, but as soon as we realized this, he stopped eating it and his headaches went away - so now we use a fresh chili and skip the water soak part.

Edit to add:
For anyone not using soy milk for various reasons (allergies, don’t prefer it, don’t have it on hand…) you can use rice milk. It will lend a little more on the sweet side in flavor, but that’s not usually a problem. The other difference is that rice milk “looks” thinner than soy milk ("watery" looking), but because it’s in the dressing (which will be green anyway), you might not see the difference. Make sure you use rice milk that is unsweetened if you can. For a savory dish like this, it will be better.

I suppose it might be cause for another post soon, but there are alternatives to both soy and rice milk that are non-dairy. For example: nut and seed milks. I could see plain almond milk (super easy to make at home) being perfect for this dish. But cashew or sunflower seed milks might work too. For those of you that are lacto-vegetarians, who eat dairy (or not “veggies” at all – “what we have those here?!” – LOL, I hope so! =), certainly use whatever type milk you have, even yogurt could stand in, thinned with a little water.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

southwest black bean salad!.........sounds wonderful!!

we LOVE black beans.......i want to make this...but probably won't have the time until after graduation........but i printed the recipe out.........

i was wondering..........i know y'all like the soy milk...but we don' i use rice milk?....or would that not have the thick consistency and not do the dressing right???.......

any suggestions other than soy?