Why is it so hard to eat more vegetables? Everyone knows they should, but it’s still something that many of us struggle with. I’ve spoken with lots of people who are quick to consider multi-vitamins or green supplements because they don’t feel they eat enough vegetables. Recently, I attended a book reading of a vegetarian cookbook, where the authors threw in a line that drew a huge laugh from the crowd: “For years, we were vegetarians who didn’t eat any vegetables”. Clearly, I’m not alone in my struggle!
Trying to get your recommended serving by cooking different vegetable dishes every night can be time consuming. And if you pack leftovers for lunch the next day its tough to find dishes that are still tasty after a microwave reheat session. This salad is quick to assemble, and because this dish has no lettuce that can wilt, it’s great for making ahead and enjoying over the next few days. Salads are also a great way to get your greens….and in this case reds, yellows, and purples…..without much fuss. Plus the beans make it a super-filling side dish, and a nutritional powerhouse!
For this colorful bean salad we start with our tangy lime vinaigrette that we love on our jicama salad. Before prepping all the vegetables, we toss the vinaigrette with the thinly sliced red onions. Letting the onions soak in the dressing for a few minutes helps mellow out their sharpness so they don’t overpower the other flavors. Sliced red tomatoes and assorted bell peppers add a sweet succulent crunch to the dish. We add just enough jalapeno to give a kick of heat to make it interesting without being too spicy, and the earthy aromatics of the freshly chopped cilantro pair perfectly with the tang of the lime. The flavors have a Mexican feel to them and complement the black beans nicely, but the dish would work well with any beans! If you’re looking to turn this side into a whole meal it is delicious with some chopped quick chipotle chicken (hot or cold) and some sliced avocado.
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 small shallot
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium red onion, thinly slices
4 bell peppers (assorted colors), chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- Finely mince the shallot.
- Combine the shallot in a small bottle or jar with the lime juice, honey, grapeseed oil, and salt.
- Shake dressing until completely emulsified.
- Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a large bowl and add the vinaigrette. Toss and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Add vegetables, cilantro, and black beans. Toss. Salt to taste
Yellow, red, and/or orange bell peppers work great in this salad, I do not recommend using green.