When I search for recipes, I cull through blogs and pages for ones that are, as clichéd as it sounds, fresh, simple and innovative. I’m interested in new methods and techniques, in adding a little charm to the everyday. It’s the French toast dipped in orange blossom water, or a vibrant spice blend, or a tablespoon of vinegar that cuts through the richness of a stew, enlivening it with a new dimension. I’m not really into long preparation times or multiple steps. Sometimes it’s nice to devote an entire day to prepping and cooking, but it doesn’t usually interest me. I probably pass over most of the recipes I would have gobbled up hungrily just a couple short years ago.
This one is a true winner. It’s filling and tasty, full of vibrant colours and comforting textures. Last week I threw together salads on the fly for my lunches, and one day I landed on a stunning and somewhat surprising combination: shredded leftover chicken Diablo, black beans, avocado, and mango tossed in a quick white wine vinaigrette. I loved the way the mango and the avocado played off each other – the tanginess of the mango with the buttery, mellow flavor of the avocado. Mashed with the chicken and black beans, it was fantastic. This one is pretty good, too, but a little more economical and less fussy to put together.
Basically, you open a couple of cans, rinse, and do a bit of chopping. It requires a bit of effort, but it’s worth it. I’ve been taking this salad for lunch, but I imagine it would also be quite nice served up next to some roasted chicken or grilled fish. Alternatively, you could throw a scoopful on some greens or on a baked sweet potato. I thought that might grab your attention.
Black Bean, Chickpea and Avocado Salad with Mango
Adapted from Canadian Living
Yields 4-6 servings
1 – 16oz can of black beans, or about 1.5 cups cooked and salted
1 – 16oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or about 1.5 cooked and salted
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
½ mango, diced (optional)
1 jalapeno, diced, or to taste
1 brightly coloured bell pepper, cleaned and diced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
Zest (rind) of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss everything except for the lime juice and olive oil in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice and oil. Add to the salad. Chill for at least one hour.