Can win

Use canned beans in this tasty, packable black bean salad.

A lunchbox-worthy Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing. — Connie Berry

I can’t remember when I first began to incorporate beans into our diet around here, but they are definitely a large part of it now. I almost always use canned beans that can be rinsed to lose some of that thick bean juice/stuff that collects at the bottom of the can, though I always cook dried lentils when working with that particular variety of legume. It’s easy to keep the cupboard stocked with beans. In fact, my family has been known to poke fun at just how many cans I accumulate. I believe my record is somewhere around 15 cans.

Anyway, I discovered that I really enjoy it when you can take a staple like black beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans — any type — and use them as base to add just about everything imaginable. And you can serve them hot, warm, room-temp, or cold. I make a great tuna, feta, and tomato salad with cannellini beans, and a fantastic garbanzo bean salad that my friend Cherie taught me how to whip up. For today, though, I’m giving you a recipe you can make really fast, and one that can easily be brought to work for lunch. And you can use this dressing on just about anything, as well. =

Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing

3 15-oz. cans Goya black beans, drained and rinsed
1 11-oz. can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
half a red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
large handful of cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Citrus Dressing

4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. honey
½ tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced

In a small bowl, use a fork or small whisk to combine the orange and lime juice, honey and cumin. Whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the green onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Open the canned beans and canned corn, put them into a colander to rinse. Let drain. Dice the onion and pepper, and chop the rinsed cilantro. Put everything into a bowl and toss until well mixed. Top with the citrus dressing and serve. Leftovers can keep covered in the fridge for a few days.