Easy Summer Salads: Black Bean and Orzo Salad
Who doesn't automatically think of great salads once the weather warms up? It only makes sense -- vegetables are in season and at their peak flavor, salads are light meals on hot days, and let's not forget how easy they are to throw together! They're quick meals for busy days. Salads also make fantastic "to go" meals whether you'll be spending the day at the park or zoo, or if you're just stuck at work and want a healthy change of pace for lunch.
I love the flavors of the Southwest, and this salad delivers them! Plus, the orzo makes this salad a little different from a typical taco salad. I think this addition makes it slightly more elegant.
Black Bean and Orzo Salad
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained or 2 cups cooked black beans (tender)
- 1/4 cup ripe olives, sliced, drained
- 1 medium tomatoes, seeded & chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup canned or frozen corn
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked orzo
- Optional: avacado, shredded cheddar cheese
Combine the black beans, olives, tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix oil, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, garlic, pepper and salt. Toss with bean mixture. Stir in the orzo. Let stand for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. If desired, top with shredded cheese and avacado slices before serving.
This salad is a good option if you're trying to find something different to take to a potluck or a cook out since there is no mayonnaise in this salad. (You don't have to worry if the salad sits out for a couple of hours). It's healthy, packed with iron, protein, and fiber (from the black beans) and Vitamin K, folate, and potassium if you top the salad with avacado.