This quick black bean and fresh corn salad celebrates summer with Mexican flavors and works great on its own as a meal or a side salad. The best thing: you can serve it as a main meal in less than 30 minutes.
Fresh sweet corn pairs with healthy black bean
It appears that corn has become synonymous with a lot of negatives– genetically-modified organism (GMO), obesity, gut health disruption, and more. It is true that corn is the biggest GMO crop in the U.S. It is also true that we end up eating more corn unintentionally in unhealthy forms: especially in the form of corn syrup. However, corn promptly features in the diet of Nicoyans-the residents of Nicoya in Costa Rica, one of the five Blue Zones where people live the longest and relatively disease free .
And we are talking about summer sweet corn here, which lends a subtle sweetness and texture to many summer dishes–corn chowder, corn ice cream, corn bread, and a variety of salads. When choosing sweet corn for you kitchen, just remember to buy the non-GMO corn. It is ok to buy non-organic fresh corn on the cob, as the husk largely prevents the pesticides to affect the kernels. Black beans form the backbone of this salad offering high protein and fiber, which keeps you full longer.
Also try the Minty sweet corn ice cream
Meal plan quick black bean and fresh corn salad as a main meal or side salad
This salad takes less than 30 minutes to put it together if you are using canned beans. You can also cook black bean fresh from scratch.
- If using home-cooked beans, then plan ahead on the weekend and freeze the beans. Thaw a night before.
- You can steam corn kernels a day ahead. Alternatively, if you have fired up your grill, use grilled corn kernels. Be sure not to charr.
- To make a quick meal out of this salad, jut wrap it in corn (or wheat) tortillas.
- To make a filling salad, serve over a bed of greens.
Quick Black Bean and Fresh Corn Salad
To make the dressing
- 4 tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime, can sub with equal amount fresh lemon juice)
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup (or sub with equal amount sugar or honey)
- 1/2 tsp homemade roasted ground cumin (or use store-bought, optional)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste, can sub with equal amount red chilli powder)
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
- 2 pinches salt
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic (~1 small clove, optional)
For the salad
- 1.5 cups black beans* (cooked, 1-15oz can)
- 1/2 cup red onion (~1 small onion, finely chopped, can sub with white)
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels** (1 corn on the cob, kernels separated and steamed)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (finely chopped, can sub with any other color bell pepper)
- 8 cherry tomatoes (sliced into halves)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, no more than 3/4 tsp)
To make the salad dressing
- Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
To make the salad
- Start out by boiling water in a stove-top steamer. Remove the outer covering of the sweet corn on the cob. Wash under running water, cut the corn kernels with a knife into a deep bowl. Be sure not to cut the kernels too deep into the cob. (Total Time: 5 minutes)
- Add kernels to a stove-top steamer and steam until soft: about 3-4 minutes. Once steamed, rinse in cold water and set aside. Alternatively, you can also use grilled corn kernels. (Total Time: 5 minutes)
- Wash the canned black beans under running water to remove the metallic taste and extra sodium. Drain well and add to a salad bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, steamed corn kernels, and freshly prepared dressing. Mix well. You can eat right after preparing or let it rest in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to meld the flavors. Enjoy on its own as a side salad or fill in a corn tortilla to make wraps for a main meal. Enjoy!
- Reduce salt to 1/4 tsp in the salad and omit it completely from the dressing.
- Omit the extra-virgin olive oil