Thursday, June 9, 2011

The BEST Mexican Black Bean Taco Salad

Oh my goodness! I have eaten this dish 3 times this week and it is soooo good! I think it just get's better and better. I made it one night for dinner and have had leftovers for lunch twice. I've made the black beans before, but with this combination, wow - this is an out-of-this world dinner - one of my most favorites of all time. The nice thing about it is it is vegetarian, easily vegan, gluten-free, and....tasty!

I'm posting this as a surprise for my Dad for Father's day. My Dad's diet is gluten-free, low-fat, low sodium, and a ton of other restrictions that I probably missed. As you can probably guess, he eats pretty bland food. For my Dad, I'm having him try the recipe below with a few changes: leaving out the salt, using fat-free or low fat mayo in the dressing and using the healthier tortilla chips with little or no salt or leaving out the chips all together.

Mexican Black Bean Taco Salad
Mexican Black Beans
Corn (canned or frozen), warmed
Lettuce, chopped
Tomatoes, diced
Avacados, chopped (optional)
Tortilla Chips
Cheese (optional)
Other salad veggies as desired (Cabbage, green onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc)
fresh limes, sliced into wedges (You've GOT TO USE FRESH LIMES!! A MUST!!)
Cilantro-lime buttermilk dressing (see recipe below, leave off for vegan or make a variation using vegan substitutes)

Prepare the ingredients and place in individual serving bowls on the table. Each person can prepare their own salad as desired. I like to layer chips, black beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, avacadoes, cheese and other veggies on my plate. Then I squeeze the lime juice all over and pour on the dressing. I like to either eat as a salad or dip chips into it for a dip.

Cilantro-lime Buttermilk Dressing
¾ C. Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. Ground black pepper
¾ tsp. fresh oregano, minced or ¼ tsp. dried
½ tsp. salt
½ C. buttermilk
2-3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced (or more, as desired)
1 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp. onion, minced

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Use immediately or store in a tightly covered container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Shake well before using.

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