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Southwestern Salad (Cowboy Caviar)

black bean salad and chips

Don't you just love the fruits and vegetables that you can get in the summer time?  They are so scrumptiously delicious!  I have one favorite summertime salad that I have been making for as long as I can remember and love to throw together to keep in the refrigerator for any time I fancy it.  I call it Southwestern Salad, but other names include cowboy caviar, mango salsa or black bean and corn salad.  Anyway, whatever you may call it, here is my take on that delicious recipe.  I cant even tell you how yummy this is.  I put beans in it so I can eat it alone and don't sit and eat a whole bag of chips with it, but I have to tell you it is really good with chips too.  

Because it's summer time you aren't going to have difficulty finding fresh mangoes that are perfectly ripened, but I've just recently discovered that you can get canned diced mango and it is amazing!  So now I can make this salad all year long with perfectly sweet fruit.

The jalapeno is optional in this salad, but it adds a nice kick.  If you don't know how you feel about fresh jalapeno, start with a 1/4 of one, make sure you remove and discard all the white pith and the seeds from the inside as they hold a lot of the heat, and dice it up fine.  You can make your way up to a half and then a whole if you are looking for more spice.  It's such a vibrant ingredient and gives such a delicious bite to this salad.  Ok, enough reading - go and make this right now! :)

Tip: I don't always cut and toss the avocado in this salad if it's going to be sitting in my refrigerator for a bit.  I will just dice some up when I get ready to eat it so it doesn't go brown, or skip it all together.  It adds such a nice creaminess, but the white cannellini beans are creamy too, so I don't miss it too much.

Juice and zest of one lime
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsps honey or 1 tsp sweetener, (can use sugar in a pinch)

1 cup diced tomatoes, (4-5 romas)
1/2 a medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup diced red or orange pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced mango, drained and rinsed, (or 1-2 fresh mangoes, diced)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannellini bean, drained and rinsed
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and pith removed and finely diced - (optional)
1 avocado, diced - (optional)
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. 

Add everything else to a large bowl, toss with the dressing, and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

This is so good served with tortilla chips, or the beans give it enough substance that you can eat it just as it is straight from the bowl!  Whatever you fancy!  Store in the refrigerator.

black bean corn and mango salad


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