Spicy Bean Salad

spicy bean saladKaleidoscope dinner time again. Hmmmm, cooking dinner for a large family, not much time of my own for anything fancy, need to find something that can last in their fridge or freezer just in case of a family emergency. Enchiladas! One pan of cheese and one of chicken will give them some alternatives. Check. Rice. Check. Beans? This is where the plan fell apart. Personally, I’m soooooo tired of re-fried beans. If it was just for myself, I’d do a little black bean and tart queso fresco number. Perhaps my favorite “hearty” summer chip dip? It was time to try something new.

After perusing my favorite online haunts, I narrowed in on one that sounded like a winner both for taste and time. The original came from Karen Castle at www.allrecipes.com and is titled Mexican Bean Salad. Naturally, I altered it based on what was readily available (avocados on sale … yes!) and just my own personal preferences. But believe you me, that dressing is a total winner! It can best be described as a collision between a 3 bean salad dressing and your favorite Mexican spices that make you want to jump up and dance. Oh yeah, like that.

Without further adieu, here we go …


  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pimento pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


  1. In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers, and red onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and black pepper. Season to taste with hot sauce and chili powder.
  3. Pour olive oil dressing over vegetables; mix well. Gently fold in avocado. Chill thoroughly, and serve cold.


  • Do give this dish some time to chill. Chill is better than no chill. And, the density of the dish (geek alert!) means that the salad likes to retain its heat.
  • Make enough for left overs. A healthy snack like this is perfect to stash in the fridge for snacking families.
  • Those pimento peppers? Those are part of the local angle  cuz I had just picked some up from the vegetable stand and love them, but are not worth a trip to a specialty store just for this dish.
  • Did you catch that? Yes, vegetable stand in December. That’s why we pay the big prices to live in California!

One response to “Spicy Bean Salad

  1. Pingback: Fall Has Arrived - In December « Living Local in California … Seasonal Cooking and Sights

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s