Black Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Here’s a simple, refreshing and healthy salad for the summer.  Just a few ingredients and homemade dressing.  Serve as is, or on a slice of toasted baguette rubbed with garlic, or rolled up in a warm tortilla.  Yum!

Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

For the dressing:

1 ripe avocado, skin removed, pitted and roughly chopped

Juice from two small limes

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup cold water

Salt & pepper to taste

1 clove garlic (optional)

Directions

1.  Combine the black beans, tomato and onion in a large bowl.

2.  For the dressing, blend the avocado, lime juice, olive oil, water, salt & pepper, and garlic (if using) until it is creamy.  If it is too thick, add water in small amounts until you achieve the desired consistency.  I prefer the dressing a little thin, so the salad stays light.

3.  Pour dressing over the salad and stir gently to combine.  Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

Note: It’s best to make the dressing just before serving.  However, the dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days without browning IF you keep it in a tightly sealed glass jar.

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Avocado Veggie Quesadillas

I served this very green quesadilla with my vegetarian chili with quinoa.  I think the only way to make it more green is to use spinach tortillas… hmm… there’s a plan.

 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach, wilted

1 cup mushrooms, sliced and sauteed with salt and pepper

1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 scallions, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, seeds included

1 avocado, sliced

4 8-inch flour tortillas

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Heat a frying pan over low heat.

2.  While the pan is heating, assemble the quesadillas.  Place two tortillas on a plate or on your counter.  Spread 1/2 of the two cheeses on each tortilla.  Split the spinach and mushrooms between the tortillas, topping with the jalapenos, scallions and cilantro.  Next, top with the avocado slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread the remaining cheese over the top.

3.  Slide the loaded tortilla into the frying pan (one at a time).  Top with one of the unused tortillas.  Press down with a spatula.  Allow to heat until the bottom tortilla starts to brown.  Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook the second side.  Remove to a plate.  Allow to rest a few minutes before slicing.

4.  Serve warm, with salsa, soup or chili.  Ingredients can be stored separately in the refrigerator.