Southwestern Black Bean and Corn “Salad”

Grab your cowboy boots and hat, and sidle up to this nummy salad! Trust me, you’ll be looking for a steel guitar and pining for the smell of horses and leather to accompany this scrumptious and versatile salad.

I put ‘salad’ in quotation marks because leftovers are absolutely delicious over the top of grilled french bread -‘Hello Paris!’ , as a ‘Bruschetta’ topping – or is it ‘Ciao Italy’?, or as a chunky dip with sturdy tortilla chips -‘Hola Mexico!’. I’ve served this in organic romaine lettuce or butter lettuce leaves, which is like a vegetarian version of a the Asian lettuce wrap, and it would be a nice punch of flavor in a breakfast tortilla wrap with scrambled eggs. It is so versatile for leftovers, but so delicious, you may not have any ‘left over’!!!

(As always, my recipes are fluid and something you adjust to taste. I will give approximate amounts, but adjust to your own taste. You can double this recipe, but it will make a generous amount for a large group!)

((Try to let the salad rest at least an hour to absorb all the great flavors from the dressing.))

Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Salad

1 can (approx 2 cup if you make your own) Black Beans, rinsed.

2 cups corn. I used leftover corn cut from the cob, from a previous nights dinner, but you can use defrosted frozen.

Cilantro: A nice big handful, chopped. We love cilantro, so add a bit more, and I will add some fresh to leftovers.

Avocado: I slice this over the top of the salad. You can rough chop it and toss in to what you are going to eat, but it gets mushy if kept too long. Better to add it fresh to the portion you are eating.

Dressing: (For 1 cup of dressing which is more than enough to dress the salad.)

1/3 Grapeseed Oil (you can use corn, I don’t because of the GMO’s)
1/3 cup Lime Juice
Approx 2-3 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tsp Cumin
1-2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder (you can use reg chili powder, I prefer the pure chili, but if you don’t have on hand, use high quality chili powder)
1 clove Garlic, minced or put through a press
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 cup diced Red Onion
pinch of Sugar
1/2 tsp dijon or stone ground Mustard
salt and pepper
Optional: Smoked Paprika or Chipotle Chili Powder

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and adjust spices to taste. (It might need more sugar, more cumin, more garlic, ect)

Toss the beans, corn and cilantro with the dressing.

Top with fresh ripened avocados.

While I seem to have covered the globe in serving options, I will personally start with what is closest to my heart. Cowboy country flavored good eats!! Yee Haw!

Super Easy Skinny Minnie Chip Dip

Skinny Minnie Chip Dip

A dip one can feel good about? Yeah, I’m all over that!
Potato chips are the conventional vehicle for consumption, but a multi-grain GF chip is nummy also.

The base for this yummy concoction is Penzey’s Spice Company: ‘Chip & Dip‘, which to my knowledge is Gluten Free. (Celiacs, check their website) Conventional chip dips have sour cream and mayo, loaded with fat and salt. Mine, however, is 0% non-fat, plain greek yogurt (I prefer Fage) and low fat cottage cheese. A nice little side benny to your enjoyment is the protein hit you’ll get.

Simply combine about 1 cup of yogurt with about a 1/2 cup cottage cheese. Add chip dip powder to taste. Mine took between 1-2 tablespoons. Let this sit in the fridge for at least an hour, up to 24 hours. This is a great make ahead appetizer.

If you are going for the no-carb plan, then use thick cucumber or radish slices instead of potato chips or GF multigrain chips.

Then sit down and manga, scarf, gobble, heck…go ahead and pig out! It’s as guilt free as one is going to get with food! When your loved one (or you) sits down for a movie, sports game or board game, set a bowl out of this guilt-free snacking dip. You’re family will never know they are eating something good for them!

The old saying is ‘You can have your cake and eat it too’. Maybe that should be modified to ‘You can have your dip, and eat it too’!!

Note: This dip would be a delicious topping for a grilled burger, turkey or beef. Served on a bed of lettuce, it reminds me of the old Diner ‘low-calorie’ meal consisting of a hamburger patty and cottage cheese!