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Fiesta Rice & Black Bean Salad

We pick up the series on Rice & Beans with Installment #6. (The series offers one idea on how we can help feed the hungry. If you’d like background, please see the NOTE at the bottom of this post.)

You know how in the dead of winter, when your bones are cold and your lips are chapped and you’re wearing your socks to bed, you long for something warm in your belly? Soups, stews, chilies, or maybe for you it’s a hearty roast and potatoes.

Does it ever happen for you in the dead of winter when your bones are cold that you long instead for something that smacks of warm summer days, open windows, t-shirts and flip flops?  Something on your plate that reminds you there IS a sun, and it’s on its way around again. Sometimes we just need a reminder that winter doesn’t last forever. And if you’re in need of such a reminder, and wanting the feel and taste of summer in your mouth again, this may be just what you’re in need of. I’ve posted lots of soups and stews in this series. Time to shake it up a bit. Time for a party of a salad.

This is a meal easily put together. The ingredients can be picked up at just about any market, any time of year. Not a thing to cook but rice. Open a can of beans and a bag of frozen corn, do a little chopping & tossing. Whir up a little dressing. There’s no meat, but plenty of lean protein from the rice and beans. With its tasty guacamole dressing, its a fresh sort of delicious. It’s light-tasting but satisfyingly filling. It’s a bite from a place where the sun always shines.

Fiesta Rice & Black Bean Salad

salad ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked rice (your choice of white or brown)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup thawed frozen corn
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 green onions sliced
  • ¼ cup plus cilantro
  • 2 large or 3 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded, de-ribbed, and minced

the dressing

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 4 green onions roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2) fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

To serve:

  • leaf lettuce
  • tortilla chips
  • wedges of lime

Cook the rice and allow to come to room temperature. Add the black beans, corn, about ¾ of the chopped red pepper, 8 green onions sliced, ¼ cup chopped cilantro and the diced  jalapeños. Season with salt and pepper. Toss together and chill.

Prepare the dressing:

Into the jar of a blender put the minced garlic, 1 avocado in chunks, the remaining 4 green onions coarsely chopped, the yogurt, remaining 2 Tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and lemon, adding more as necessary.

Toss the rice and beans with the dressing and chill. Before serving cut the avocado in ¾-inch pieces and gently toss together with the rest of the salad. Place lettuce leaves on plates or large salad bowls, top with fiesta salad, scatter the last bit of red pepper over top and serve with tortilla chips and wedges of lime.

~ ~ ~

If you’re just checking in for the first time or haven’t followed along with the series but are interested in how you & your family might help feed another,

you can check out the post in which the idea was first introduced. Each Wednesday since then, there’s been a new recipe in the series.

~ ~ ~

an apology – the photo of the finished salad was shot when the winter light was dimming fast and spree couldn’t focus too well. 

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. This does look SO good and is something I could whip up easily on a weeknight. Love that! And the party in this bowl looks so happy. Looks like the cilantro or green onion is dancing.

    December 14, 2011
  2. And where exactly is that beautiful place? Sedona?

    December 14, 2011
    • That’s the Arts & Crafts center in Sedona – tlaquepaque – modeled after an old Mexican village. lovely place!

      December 15, 2011
  3. I love the colors here–all of my meals have bright yellows, reds, and greens and sometimes for contrast some snowy white cauliflower or more muted colors from various beans. I have found that the more different colors I use the better the tastes and more interesting contrasts in textures will result. I can see just looking at these pictures that the dazzling colors mean this salad is going to be both delicious and totally satisfying.

    December 14, 2011
    • You’re right…in most cases color = good for you. I could offer some exceptions….actually I think I already have. 😉

      December 15, 2011
  4. Ali #

    We absolutely ADORE this salad, as do our friends who we’ve made this for.
    The cilantro lime chicken, also on your site, is a great accompaniment to this salad for those who like the addition of a little meat. This is good ALL year long!!

    December 14, 2011
  5. There´s definitiely a wonderful fiesta going on there – looks delicious! And the photo is amazing 🙂 Am off to check out the post you mentioned, sounds like an incredible idea.

    December 14, 2011
  6. That looks delicious – got to do it.

    December 15, 2011
  7. Socks to bed? NEVER! This looks fantastic.

    December 15, 2011
  8. You are right…this dish does remind me of summer with all it’s vibrant colors.

    December 15, 2011

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