So, I'm not really a big salad person. I love vegetables, but I don't like most dressings, and I abhor your typical restaurant "side salad" (wilted iceberg lettuce, two tomato slices, some pitiful shredded carrot and a big glob of ranch). I don't usually make salad for myself, except the occasional tomato-spinach-fresh mozzarella-olive oil-balsamic vinegar standard, basically the only salad I'll consistently eat. My boyfriend is on tour with his band right now, so I'm taking the opportunity to eat non-meat-based meals for dinner. After a couple nights of veggies and pasta, I decided to make this salad from a recipe I found in Women's Health magazine.
AND IT IS THE BEST SALAD EVER. It is meant to serve two people, as a meal, and I ate the entire thing by myself in one sitting. It's filling, delicious, and manages to actually taste amazingly healthy, fresh, and green. The flavors of the avocado, cilantro and lime blend perfectly, giving the salad an identifiable but not overwhelming Mexican flavor. I can't rave enough about it; it really is that good. Seriously. Make this salad TONIGHT.
Avocado Black Bean Salad (from Women's Health)
serves 2, contains 247 calories per serving
2 cups lettuce (I used a basic spring mix)
1 avocado, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup of black beans, rinsed
2 tbsp diced green onions
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
lime zest to taste (original recipe calls for 1/4 tbsp)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1. Chop tomato, green onion, avocado and cilantro.
2. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomato, avocado, black beans, green onions and cilantro.
3. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper. I'm a very lazy lemon/lime zester, so I just made an amount of zest I thought looked ok and used it--you might want to use the prescribed 1/4 tbsp, or less.
4. Pour dressing over salad and toss well, making sure everything is coated.
If you're a cilantro hater, whether by tastebuds or genetics, you could easily leave it out or substitute another herb (maybe parsley?).
I think this recipe would also be delicious made as a chopped salad, a la this post on Cheap Healthy Good. If you want more protein, you could also add grilled chicken, or if you want more veggies, maybe some cooked corn. I used the leftover 1/2 can of beans and cilantro with some tomato in a breakfast omelet the next day.