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.

Green bean, Carrot, Chickpea Salad

When I was a kid, we used to pick green beans from my grandma’s garden in MI. I liked green beans so much so, I couldn’t wait until we got in the house to wash them, that I’d just eat them straight after picking them. My brother hated green beans, and still does to this day. So, more for me! I wasn’t a fan of green bean casserole that always seemed to make an appearance at family holiday dinners. I like my beans steamed or sauted with olive oil or butter and some lemon juice. Or, I love them raw in a salad. Originally, I was just going to do an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing, but decided upon a creamy dressing of mayo, ground yellow mustard, olive oil and lemon juice (this is the same dressing from the previous recipe here This would be a great side dish any time of the year…but, it makes me think of summer because it’s fresh and crisp.

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, washed
  • 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • 8-10 baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of chives

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Rinse and trim the green beans, cut them in half and put them in a large bowl. Add diced red onion, cut carrots and can of chickpeas. In a separate bowl, combine dijon mustard, mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whip together until smooth. Add dressing to veggies and stir until well-coated. Add some fresh chives too if you like.

Chickpea, Broccoli and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mayo-Mustard-Olive Oil Dressing

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Sometimes I think I can be a raw foodist, but then I remember how much I love sweet potato fries and my Mom’s homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies and I scrap that idea. I can be an occasional raw foodist, one who eats a lot of various kinds of salads, right? Right. In fact, this was my lunch today.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 C chopped carrots
  • 1/2 C broccoli florets (cut really tiny)
  • 1/4 C chopped onions

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Put chopped veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl, drizzle the dressing and mix until the beans and veggies are well-coated. I measured out the dressing and it’s about 1/3 of a cup. I did add a little more mustard because the flavor is just so nice.

Farro Asparagus Pesto Salad

Cold Farro Salad

I had meant to post this recipe in 2014 and didn’t notice it was hanging out in my drafts folder until just now. (Whoops). This salad can be eaten either hot or cold. It kind of reminds me of spring or summer, which is when it was originally supposed to be published. You can either make your own pesto, or use your preferred jarred brand.

  • 1C. cooked farro
  • 1/2C. cooked/roasted corn kernals
  • 1/2 bunch of steamed asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • pesto (recipe below)

For the Pesto

  • 1 bunch (or 2, if small) of basil, cleaned, patted dry
  • Handful of toasted almonds
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil (or more if necessary)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until well blended. I omitted cheese, but, you can certainly add some grated pecorino.

Cook farro according to directions. Add sliced asparagus and corn to a large bowl, then, add cooked farro (this will steam the asparagus a bit, or, you can steam in a dish with a bit of water in the microwave until crisp tender. I like my asparagus a little crunchy, so, I just steam it with the farro). Add the amount of pesto you desire, grate some pecorino on top and serve, or, let sit and eat cold. This salad is really good the following day.

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!