Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jicama & Black Bean Salad

"I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit. There is always a yearning to achieve more. I'll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is."  - Jiro Ono, Chef and focus of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi
My dad was always the chef of the family.  He's spent hours leafing through Dean Ornish cookbooks, popping into Whole Foods, and in general perfecting the timing and quantity of each dish such that it landed in front of us the second we all converged home, and so that by the time we were finished devouring our tuna, caprese salad, or veggie chili, we were full and there was not a bite leftover.

But this isn't his recipe -- it's my mom's.

There were a few times throughout my childhood when she undertook the task of cooking.  And when she did, like Jiro, she knew that her strength lay in repetition and reliability, rather than in adventurous combinations or exotic flavors.  The result?  She was a pretty darn fantastic cook... for about three recipes.

...So this one is my favorite.  The lack of time for preparation and assembly, combined with this dish's ability to stay freshly crisp in the refrigerator for days on end makes it a staple in my apartment.  Vegetarian and full of fibrous legumes to boot!

Jicama and Black Bean Salad

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 290
Stays freshly crisp in the refrigerator for up to a week
Fiber rich
Works as a complete meal!


1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of diced jicama (*If there is no jicama to be had, you can use substitute apples.)
¾ cup chopped seeded tomato (about one medium tomato)
2 green onions, chopped, with tops
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of chili powder
¼ teaspoon of cumin
1 small clove of garlic chopped


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate.

*Proportions of vegetables can be extremely elastic.  More corn for sweeter salad, or more jicama for wonderful crunchy texture.

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