Black Bean, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

Despite the fact that my summer is fairly low on commitments (weddings, wedding showers, etc – I think this is the first summer since I graduated college that I haven’t had at least 4 or 5 weddings to attend), it’s still been busy as ever. Between dealing with work craziness, getting myself to the gym, and trying to keep my house from looking like its been abandoned, there is just not time for much else – so, I’ve been forced to make the most of my time in the kitchen. I’ve been doing my best to throw things together that are delicious, filling, and will provide leftovers for a few days, and this salad definitely fits the bill.

I realize that it’s not the most beautiful dish in the world – but this salad would be perfect to take to a 4th of July barbecue. There is no mayo, so you don’t have to worry about it sitting out in the heat for a little while; plus, it’s always nice to have SOMETHING healthy at a barbecue full of heavy meats and salads and sweets.

Black Bean, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad
makes about 8 side servings

one can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, cut into quarters and chopped
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and shallot. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and spices. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, and mix until all the vegetables are evenly coated in the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve! This salad will keep well in the fridge for a couple days.

This is a salad you can definitely play around with; you could add some diced bell peppers, or some corn, or trade out the black beans for another type of bean you prefer. The dressing will go well with most any combination you can come up with!

Here’s to sparklers, and a day off in the middle of the week,
Tina

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