Brown Basmati Rice and Black Bean Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

It’s finally getting warmer in Brooklyn, to the point I had to switch on the A/C for a few days (Con Edison loves me). For me, when it’s warmer outside, I’d rather eat lighter meals that can be served cold. This is a nice, light lunch or dinner option. I think you can add diced pepper and corn to this salad and that would work well too. Go on and make yourself a margarita too!

  • 2 C. cooked brown basmati rice, cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 C. Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 TB mayo
  • 1/4 C. lime juice
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of salt/pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust accordingly, ie: if you want it tangier, add more lime juice, more creamy, add a bit more mayo. Note: I used bottled organic lime juice (Santa Cruz brand). It’s pure lime juice, no sugar or extra crap. I also use it to make margaritas [upcoming post!])

In a large bowl, add beans and vegetables to cooled rice. (you want to use cooled rice because you don’t want mushy tomatoes and cooked avocado, nor do you want the dressing warmed by the rice). Add dressing and mix until everything is coated. Add crumbled Bulgarian feta on top. Bam, you’re done. With this recipe, I’m pretty sure you CAN win friends with salad

Now, go do your laundry that you’ve been putting off for a few days.

Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

Kale, black bean, onion, sweet potato salad with spicy avocado dressing!

Kale, black bean, onion, sweet potato salad with spicy avocado dressing!

I was going to make guacamole, but decided to make a creamy and spicy avocado dressing for a kale salad. (I’m trying to be good and eat lighter dinners. We’ll see how long that will last. wink). I also added a can of black beans and half of a diced sweet potato. I think this salad would also be good with some corn and roasted pumpkin seeds, but I didn’t have either on hand.

For the salad:

  • 1 head of lactino kale
  • 1/2 of a roasted sweet potato
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4C. minced white onion
  • 1/2 of a red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped

For the Dressing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of one lemon
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2tsp chili powder
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4C olive oil (eyeball it, you may want to use more to have a thinner dressing, or use water to have a thinner dressing
  • 2TB water

Make the dressing: I used my mini food processor (which is an awesome addition to my kitchen). Add avocado, oil, lemon juice and spices and blend until creamy. You may have to add a little bit more oil (or water) to thin out the dressing. Adjust spices to your taste.

Thoroughly rinse and pat dry kale leaves. Fold leaves in half, then cut into strips a few times so the kale is in bite-sized pieces. Add chopped kale to large bowl, drizzle with dressing and massage into the kale until it’s well coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Add some crumbled Bulgarian feta too…that might be good. I wish I had thought of that when I made the salad!

Quinoa-Bulghur, Black Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado & Spinach

As I was typing the headline for this post, I realized, “Damn, I’ve been eating a lot of black beans and tomatoes….” Sorry for the redundancy, but I’ve finally eaten my weight in summer tomatoes. (YAY!) I will surely miss them and think of them fondly when it’s December and I’m eating my fair share of roasted root vegetables and trying to not eat those gross, mealy, tasteless out-of-season tomatoes offered at my local grocery store.

ANYway…

This salad made a perfect meal and will pack up nicely when I take it to work for my lunches this week. It’s pretty adaptable. If you have limes and cilantro on hand, then by all means add some juice, zest and herbs. Yellow or red peppers or even jalapenos would add a nice crunch too. I used Pedon brand quick cooking (10 min) quinoa/bulghur, but if you have one or the other, that works just fine too.

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 package of quinoa & bulghur mix, cooked, drained
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 TB white balsamic vinegar

Cook the grains according to package directions. Set aside to cool a bit. Mix the black beans, tomato, avocado, oil and vinegar and add some salt and pepper. Let that sit for a few minutes so the salt brings out the water from the tomatoes. Add the quinoa to the vegetables and toss. I also added crushed red pepper flakes and a dash of chili powder in lieu of jalapenos. Enjoy!

Black Bean, Corn, Tomato, Avocado Salad

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer colder foods in the summer. And because I cannot live on coconut or raspberry sorbet every day…
This dish works as a side salad or possibly a salsa accompaniment to roasted mushroom soft tacos (oooh, I just gave myself an idea). I used fresh corn on the cob rather than frozen because I had leftover corn. (I just sliced it off the cob in large pieces. If you use frozen corn, sauté it first in a pan and let cool). It’s a quick and easy and made a nice lunch for my lazy Sunday afternoon. Hey, where’s my sangria?

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 ear of cooked corn on the cob, sliced off cob
  • 1 medium/large tomato
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 small/medium zucchini, thinly sliced pieces
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TB of olive oil
  • 2TB of white balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the black beans, add the diced tomatoes, pepper, corn, avocado, and zucchini. Add the juice of a lime (so the avocado doesn’t brown), olive oil and vinegar. You don’t have to add vinegar, but I did because it adds a different element of flavor and is a nice complement. Stir and then let the salad sit for 10 minutes, as the salt with draw out the water from the tomatoes and zucchini.