Black Bean Salad

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This is the perfect sumMAR salad that is great for picnics. Why? Several reasons. First, there is no mayonnaise so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling in the summer heat. Secondly, it can be used as a base for grilled fish, chicken or meat. And lastly, it’s fabulous served with tortilla chips as a dip or with rice as a nice lunch or simple supper. It keeps in the frig for days and actually gets better the more it marinates.

Onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 red or orange pepper, seeded, cored and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (with seeds for heat)
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about one lime)
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt (to taste)
Fresh black pepper to taste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained

In a large bowl, mix chopped vegetables, beans and corn. Add lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cilantro. Toss and serve. The salt will cause the vegetables to release water so it is best not to salt the salad if you are making it in advance.

Tomato Salsa

To make this salad into a zesty tomato salsa to eat with chips or to top burritos or tacos, simply add 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes that have been seeded, cored and diced, or one can diced tomatoes. Canned whole tomatoes can be used as well. Put them in a food processor or blender and pulse for a second or two into a rough chop. Adjust the salt and pepper.

Mango Salsa

Add diced mango to this bean salad to create a fabulous base or side dish for grilled fish, chicken or pork tenderloin.

And there you have it.