Friday, July 19, 2013

Spicy Lime Black Bean Dip, Salad and Spread

As a die-hard lover of Authentic- and Tex-Mex alike, I initially struggled with wanting to dive right into those house nachos or bean burritos, but I knew better. So, I took it upon myself to find ways to keep my beloved cuisine in my diet without navigating off course. 

Because I follow a primarily plant-based diet, beans and other legumes play an important role in bringing some extra protein to my plate and giving me a little bit of that meaty texture I like.  You already know how much I love chickpeas but another leguminous love of mine is the black bean! Black beans pack a punch full of health benefits including improved digestion, blood sugar regulation, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, Folate, and of course, protein and fiber. 

One of my favorite flavor combos is black beans with a jalapeno pepper and lime juice. And over the past couple months, I have found ways to put this combo to use in a bunch of different ways:

Spicy Lime Black Bean Spread/Dressing:
I love this over some fish or some grilled summer veggies! All you do it combine the black beans with most of the liquid removed, chopped pepper, and the juice of one lime with some red onion, salt, pepper and just a slight splash of apple cider vinegar. I give this a twirl around the blender, adjust for taste with some salt, pepper or lime juice and Voila! You've got yourself a nice spin on whatever it was you were making for dinner! (I usually garnish with a little cilantro)

Spicy Lime CBT  Salad:
When I'm in the mood for a little Mexican flare on my salad I like to toss my black beans in a bowl with some fresh grilled corn, chopped tomatoes and jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. You can use this as a topper over some spinach, romaine or kale - or - as a salad in and of itself. You could even use it as a summery taco filler or shred up some lettuce and organic cheese and use it as a nacho topper! Oh, the possibilities! 

Spicy Lime Bean Dip
Okay, I confess - I'm a dipper! I love me some beans blended down to the perfect dipping density. But you won't catch me buying supermarket bean dip - no, sir! I toss the key players - black beans (completely rinsed and drained), lime juice, chopped jalapeno and onion, salt, pepper -in the blender. I try to keep it on a lower setting here because the black beans can get soupy pretty quickly. Then I add in a dollop of organic plain greek yogurt (you could use organic whole sour cream or some avocado - the purpose here to add a heavier creamier texture). Give this a slow spin around until mixed throughout. Season to taste with more pepper, lime juice or onion and enjoy with your favorite veggies, or tortilla chips ( I suggest making your own when you can - but sometimes the mexican pull is too strong and theres just no time  - in which case I recommend Late July  Organic Chips )

If you love the flavors of Mexican food in the summertime as much as I do, I have a feeling you're really going to enjoy these!

Keep it Real this Weekend - and if you're in the Philadelphia area - Keep Cool!


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