Southwestern Rice and Bean Salad
Tex-Mex food epitomizes an ideal marriage. It’s a culinary mashup of the fiery, comforting flavors of Mexican cuisine and the smoky, meat-centric dishes commonly associated with Texas; two different worlds happily melded together on the same plate.
There’s addictive comfort found in the charred, rich cuts of meat; piquant, tangy salsas; and the creamy, salty ooze of cheese. Fantastic for the taste buds, but not always so great for the waistline.
This Southwestern Rice Salad with Black Beans is a trimmed down, fiber-filled version of a Tex-Mex rice bowl — without the guac, sour cream and shredded cheddar to bring the dish under 200 calories, but if you have calories to spare, add ¼ avocado on top. But it’s far from bland. Instead of using salt and fat to flavor, use the verdant, fresh flavors of green onion and cilantro, added a medium-spicy kick from fresh jalapenos and chili powder, and acidic brightness from white wine vinegar. The result is a whole grain salad that packs perfectly for a playground picnic or post-workout lunch at work.
If you need to cut down on prep time, look for pre-cooked frozen brown rice (just make sure the ingredients list is clean); this should cut your kitchen time down to about 15 minutes.
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (or other cooked whole grain)
- 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped (or cayenne pepper to taste)
- 1 tsp. mild chili powder
Here are your instructions:
Combine rice, beans, corn, tomato, green onions, oil, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeño, and chili powder in a large serving bowl; mix well.
For best flavor, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Tip: Rice can be mixed into salad, or all other ingredients can be combined and served over the rice.
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