Sunday, July 5, 2009
Kimm and I made a new recipe today that was AWESOME! So I totally had to share it with you 🙂
When we made out our grocery list this week, we decided to get ingredients for two new recipes, figuring that would be plenty for us to try for one week. Today was a busy day and so we decided a simple meal for dinner would be ideal. While Kimm mowed the lawn (yeah for sun!), I made the dressing. Then it was easy to just assemble when we were ready.
Black Bean and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Dressing
** recipe from Good Housekeeping Favorite Meals: Vegetarian Meals (2006)–my changes in parentheses
Serves four (I made the entire amount for the dressing, but then just halved the amount of stuff for the actual salad…we will have this meal twice in one week)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used regular because it was what I had)
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (I used regular because it was what I had)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (I didn’t really measure this…just a few good grounds of the pepper mill)
1 small head romaine lettuce, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (I was lazy and just tore it up to approximate size)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used grape tomatoes cut in half because I love them so much!)
2 Kirby cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces (what the heck is a Kirby cucumber? I used the normal cucumber I always use…who knows, maybe it is a Kirby…nope I looked online and a Kirby cucumber is a small pickling cucumber, not what I used)
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used one whole avocado just for our two salads because I didn’t want the other 1/2 going brown…it was actually the perfect amount…I cut it in half, scored the avocado with a knife, scooped it out, and then cut into tiny squares)
1 can (15-19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
First, make the dressing. Grate 1/2 teaspoon lime peel from limes–if you don’t have a grater like me (boy do I need a microplace grater!) then very thinly slice off the peel of about 1/2 a lime. The recipe says to squeeze three tablespoons of juice from the two limes. I tried to measure, but it was a pain. From what I could see, the juice of both my limes was pretty close to three tablespoons. Don’t measure this…just squeeze all the juice out of the two limes. Trust me, it’s easier. In a blender, place the lime peel, lime juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, sour cream, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper. Puree, occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender, until smooth. Warning, this does not take long. Maybe 20 seconds. The dressing will be fairly thin. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until using.
The recipe says to put all the salad ingredients into a bowl and mix and then add dressing. Well, I don’t like my salad like that! We made two separate plates. First we put the lettuce on the plate and then arranged a few spoonfuls of the beans, the cucumber, tomatoes, and avocados on top of the lettuce. Then drizzle with the dressing. I don’t really like to stir my lettuce together once the dressing is on because it can get soggy. If you just drizzle the dressing on thinly, it covers every part of the salad and you never have to mix it.
OMG. This salad was so good. This was the FIRST time I had ever made a homemade dressing. I’ve been wanting to do it, but just never did. If all dressings turned out this good, I would make all my dressings! I LOVED the fact that I knew every ingredient in it and that there were no preservatives. I can’t wait to make more dressings now! We chowed down on this salad and it was gone lickety split! We are going to have it again tomorrow for lunch.
As a side note, I just want to say that I LOVE avocados. This is monumental because I used to really dislike them. And now I just love them. I could eat them plain! Which is good, because it is a good, healthy fat for your body. I wonder what other food item I will begin to like in the future?
Here are some pictures of the process of making the salad, with a picture of the salad as the grand finale!
The lime juice and peel…
As Ina would say, “Use a good mayonnaise.”
Into the blender…
Cilantro…love this stuff
In it goes…
The sour cream…
All the spices hanging out…cumin, sugar, salt, pepper
All mixed up…I have to admit…I licked the spatula
In the bowl…
The beans…oh so good…
Cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado…
And all together…now really, wasn’t that WORTH the wait?