Fiesta Bean Salad

If you're looking for a healthier side for your summer BBQ or Labor Day festivities, this Skinnytaste recipe is right up your alley.  This salad is light and bright, but certainly doesn't taste like rabbit food. It would pair well with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken - even fish or shrimp kabobs.

The medley of colors in this salad is so inviting - just begging to gobble up. There are a variety of textures as well - crunch from the red onion, that pop you get from juicy tomato chunks and creaminess from the avocado. As for flavors, cumin, garlic and lime always work well together and they add great heat, smokiness and citrus to the beans and corn.  Last but not least, there is that amazing hint of sweetness that the corn and tomatoes impart.

This salad was really easy to put together, not to mention quick.

A few notes:

- I used 3 large cloves of garlic instead of the 2 the recipe called for.
- I increased the amount of cilantro to 1/3 of a cup.
- I added a generous pinch of Truvia for a little sweetness. You could use sugar, Splenda, etc.
- I combined everything but the avocado about 8 hours before serving this, and then added the avocado right before serving. This worked well and gave the other flavors a chance to marry.

Fiesta Bean Salad

2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive
1 tsp cumin
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 medium avocado, diced

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt.

Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, onion and cilantro; mix well. When ready to eat, gently mix in avocado and serve right away.

Makes 4 1/3 cups.