Brown Rice and Two-Bean Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

Brown Rice and Two-Bean Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

Years of being a vegetarian have taught me the basic essentials of a balanced meal: in rough proportion and description of value, a serving of legumes and whole grains for proteins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and a serving of fresh vegetables for vitamins and fiber, with a few good fats from whole dairy products or olive oil thrown in.

When time is in short supply, it is always nice to be able to combine these essentials into one dish. But flavor never needs to take a back seat to nutrition, ease or convenience, and summer and autumn weather trips down the aisles of fresh local produce always provide inspiration for cool and refreshing salads that can easily be considered complete meals in themselves. This Mexican-style brown rice, chickpea and black bean salad loaded with fresh green beans, pepper and corn and spiced up with a zesty chili and lime dressing is a perfect example of taste, wholesome eating and simplicity in one balanced meal.

Brown Rice and Two-Bean Salad with Chili-Lime DressingBrown Rice and Two-Bean Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
Recipe by
Cuisine: Mexican
Published on November 17, 2010

Simple, zesty and refreshing Mexican-style bean and rice salad

Preparation: 15 minutes

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  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans (1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup dried brown rice (1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice from 3 limes (6 tablespoons)
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Separately, rinse the chickpeas, black beans and brown rice under cold running water. Place in separate bowls and cover the chickpeas and black beans with several inches of cold water. Cover the brown rice with 2 cups of cold water. Let the chickpeas, black beans and brown rice soak for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and black beans separately. Add each to separate small saucepans and cover with several inches of fresh cold water. Bring each to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender — about 30 to 45 minutes for the black beans and about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for the chickpeas. Drain and set aside to cool.

  • Meanwhile, bring the brown rice with its soaking water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

  • Place the cooled chickpeas, black beans and brown rice in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetables and cilantro and gently combine. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Gently toss to mix.

  • Serve at room temperature or cold.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Brown Rice and Two-Bean Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

Other salads you may enjoy:
Mexican-Style Black Bean and Millet Salad
Mexican-Style Kamut Berry, Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad
Mexican-Style Potato Salad with Avocado and JalapeƱos
Brown Rice with Lime, Cilantro and JalapeƱo

On the top of the reading stack: Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood

Audio Accompaniment: Carbon Based Lifeforms


Ivy said...

I could eat this salad every day. Love all the ingredients in it. Sorry I haven't been around for such a long time.

Johanna GGG said...

I made rice salad for the first time in ages and loved it - must try this version - esp as sylvia was quite keen on the special on limes in the supermarket today!

A Bowl Of Mush said...

This looks like a gorgeous salad! Delicious!

AJ said...

Beautiful looking salad! Love that dressing!!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

The best salads are those with simple dressings and where the flavours really stand out. Think I'll like this one. :)

Anna Maste said...

I'm in the process of reading "The China Study" and seriously considering cutting all the meat out of my diet, so I'm very pleased to stumble upon your blog. Everything looks delicious!

Regarding this recipe - when you list "Chili powder" as an ingredient, do you use American style chili powder (i.e. a mixture of chilis and a bunch of other spices, and not really all that hot), or indian style chili powder (which I believe is usually just ground chilis and the stuff I have has a good kick to it)?

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for your comment Anna. I certainly don't miss meat in my diet.

As for the chili powder, I use both types, depending on my mood. I enjoy a variety of blends, though the spicier, the better :)