Thursday, January 15, 2009

Black Bean Salsa: A Healthier Party Snack

I've been talking a lot about all the cookies I've been feeding my friends and family but out of fear that I might contribute to the onset of Type 2 diabetes among them I decided I needed a healthier alternative.

Coming up with healthy snacks to bring to a party is harder then I expected. It should be something you can eat out of hand, it has to be as good a couple hours after it was made as when it was first assembled (if not better) and it probably should be able to sit at room temperature for awhile. Once I added healthy and vegan on to this I was practically stumped.

So I went back to that old stand by: salsa. But this isn't store bought salsa, it's much better and more practical in the winter then a tomato based salsa (most of the tomatoes in our stores are too expensive or not worth eating.)

All you need is a can of black beans (or you could make your own, if you have the time), some green and or red pepper (or yellow, or orange), onion, and frozen corn.

I simply chop the peppers and onion and add them to the black beans (which I rinse). I throw the frozen corn in boiling water for just a couple of minutes and then drain and let it cool before adding it.

For the seasoning I used cumin, coriander, sea salt, garlic powder, lime juice (or was it lemon?) and a little bit of oil (olive or one with a more neutral taste, like peanut).

I'm not sure if this step really adds anything but I'm a slave to the instructions of all the Indian recipes I've read: I toast the whole cumin and coriander before grinding them up. I do this by throwing them in a little cast iron skillet over medium heat, stirring fairly constantly until they get toasty but not burned.

I mix about a tablespoon of oil into the salad and a couple of tablespoons of lemon (or was it lime?) juice. I then mix in the spices, salt and garlic powder. As for measurements....I never have any. I do pretty much everything by eyeball and to taste.

Here it is:

Nice and healthy right? Of course I negated much of that by serving it with store bought tortilla chips. If I had more time in the future I might attempt something healthier but I have to admit, the scoop shaped chips really are handy.

P.S. You could clearly add tomatoes if they were in season but I like having a recipe that is not dependent on them for the 2/3's of the year when the ones at the store taste like cardboard.


  1. I discovered black bean salsa last month and I absolutely love it! I serve mine with baked pita wedges. Very healthy!
    P.S. I found your blog through Wardrobe Refashion.;-)

  2. I'm glad you found my blog, and baked pita wedges are a great idea, much healthier then store bought tortilla chips!

  3. Becca! I tried to email you, but it wouldn't go through for some reason. (Will the internet woes never end?) I wondered if you could check and see if my feed whoozywhatzit seems to be working now. I think I may have found the problem. Thanks!

  4. This sounds yum! And I suggest that roasting the spices is an essential step - brings out the fragrance and spiciness.