Who said salad can’t steal the show? This delicious Southwestern Black Bean Salad from Ashley at Cookie Monster Cooking is like a meal of its own. The fresh ingredients really bring out the flavors of the season, and provide a bunch of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. This salad can be prepared up to two days in advance before the addition of avocado. Just throw it in an airtight container and refrigerate. Yields about 6 servings.

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Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 ears corn, kernels removed (do not used canned or frozen corn)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 c crumbled queso fresco
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
1 1/2 tsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Method
1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When hot, add in the corn and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl. Add in the beans, tomato, cilantro and queso fresco. Toss to combine.

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2. In a small bowl, whisk together the green onions, lime juice, chipotle, honey, salt, pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the dressing to the bowl with the corn and toss to combine.

3. Add the avocado to the bowl and fold gently to incorporate. Season with additional salt and/or pepper to taste, if desired.

recipe and photo courtesy of Ashley at Cookie Monster Cooking.

In the kitchen, a majority of the cooking process is trial and error (often with a bit of resulting mess). But Ashley of Cooking Monster Cooking doesn’t let that deter her from creating healthy, satisfying, and sometimes a little indulgent recipes that she shares with her family. Armed with a myriad of cooking tools and cookbooks, Ashley produces delicious recipes that deliver lots of smiles. Check out her blog Cookie Monster Cooking where she showcases her homestyle cooking and creative photography skills.