February 4, 2012

Bean Dip

When I was a child, long before it was hip to eat organic foods or recycle, my mother grew bean sprouts in a mason jar on the kitchen window sill and refused to consume foods that came in cans or plastic containers. I still have not ever tasted...ummm...cocoa puffs or spaghetti-o type foods. She instilled in me the belief that food could be healthful and still be incredibly tasty.

Even though I subscribe to the "real food" philosophy, that philosophy is sometimes moderated by a need for convenience. So, this evening I give to you one of my favourite, super-convenient recipes - bean dip - made with canned beans! It is incredibly quick and easy to make, has loads of flavour, and is healthful. While this is called a dip, it could just as easily be served as a side salad. Either way, whip up a batch - your hungry game-day guests will love it.

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 1 15-ounce can corn
  • 1 cup each of the following (chopped): red bell pepper, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 of a 2 ounce can of chopped jalapeno peppers (use the entire can if you like spicier foods)

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine the first four ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After it heats to a boil, remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place all of the beans and corn in a large colander; rinse under a gentle stream of tepid water until the water runs clear. Set aside to continue draining.
  3. Chop the peppers, celery, and onion so that the chopped bits are about the size of a bean. Place in a large bowl along with the jalepeno peppers.
  4. When the beans have thoroughly drained, add them to the bowl with the chopped vegetables.
  5. Pour the vinegar/oil mixture over the beans and vegetable mixture. Gently stir.
  6. Add more salt if needed and add black pepper if you like.

Serve immediately if you like, although the flavour does improve over time so if you can make it the day before, do so. This will stay good for three days in the refrigerator.