If you're seeking a quick, healthy vegetarian meal with a satisfying starchiness and a whole lot of protein, black beans are your answer. A feature in many Latin recipes, black beans are a member of the kidney bean family and go back at least 7,000 years to Central America.
Black beans are a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, and complex carbohydrates. They provide 15 grams of protein per cup, and while this is not a complete protein (meaning it does not supply all 22 amino acids), it becomes a complete protein when paired with grains such as quinoa, corn or rice.
Protein is essential for maintaining a healthy body: It helps with tissue repair in case of injury, provides energy to help us get through the day, and keeps the immune system strong to fend off illness. It also builds up everything from muscle tissue to hair, skin, and nails, basically keeping our entire system going. Because our bodies do not store reserves of protein, we must make sure to intake it daily. A recommended daily allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
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This recipe for Black Bean and Corn Salad comes to us courtesy of FoodNetwork.com:
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Total time: 25 minutes
Yields 4 servings
- 1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, half a palm full
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, just eyeball the amount (recommended: Tabasco)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, eyeball it
- Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve. The corn will also place a quick-chill on this easy side-salad as it defrosts -- no need to refrigerate!