Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recipe: Black Bean, Sweet Potato & Cranberry Salad

So I played with my food again at work today. However, this time it was a little nerve-racking because of the fact that I've only been working at this job for 1 week. Regardless, I opened a can, chopped some stuff, and ended up with enough food for 2-3 lunches. You know how much I love it when that happens! And considering my recent imprudence during lunchtime (due to the fact that Andy Nguyen’s and all of its enlightened food is merely 1/2 a block away), it felt good to make something healthy and delicious for less than my favorite Zen-inspired noodles.

The ingredient combo is a tad unconventional but very tasty nonetheless. As usual with my work meals, I wanted to make use of leftovers, and the 1/3 bag of frozen diced sweet potatoes was just begging to be used. I’d thrown the black beans in my bag by mistake but realized they might actually go well with the sweet potatoes if I played around with them enough. I felt a sweet & tangy dressing would complement both quite well. Texturally, however, I knew I had to throw in something a little chewy or crispy, lest I end up with a mushy meal. So I played and I played and ended up with the following salad that features black beans, sweet potatoes, green onions, and cranberries, all in a simply sweet rice vinaigrette.

My tastebuds were happy and my office mates commended me for my healthy lunch, as they dug in to their sandwiches or Chinese food. I briefly told them what I do outside of my day job and warned them that random food photography might happen. They all smiled at me like I was a little silly, but I take comfort in the fact that I not only saved money for the rest of the week when it comes to lunch, but I did end up with a couple of new readers, too. :)

Black Bean, Sweet Potato & Cranberry Salad (Makes 3 servings; Total cost per serving: ~ $1.25)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ c diced sweet potatoes (should be about ½” in size)
4 green onions (tops & greens), chopped
¼ c dried cranberries
2 T rice vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 T agave nectar (honey will work, too)
¼ t ground black pepper
Dash of salt

Prepare the dressing by combining the rice vinegar, lemon juice, agave nectar, pepper, and salt in a small bowl and whisking together well. In a larger bowl or container, combine the black beans, diced sweet potatoes, green onions, and cranberries and toss together gently. Add the dressing and mix together well. Serve with greens or by itself, add some chopped nuts (if you have ‘em) for extra crunch, and enjoy!


  1. This looks delish! We've been reading for awhile, but haven't commented. Congrats on the book and your first year. Love your vegan and vegetarian recipes - keep 'em coming!

  2. Gretchen Weiners9/08/2009 07:11:00 AM

    This is so yummy! I made the dressing with honey because I didn't have any agave nectar and I really loved the honey flavor. I added some chopped peanuts and they added a perfect yummy crunchiness. One of my new favorites!

  3. Thanks for sharing nice recipe. The taste is also good. Its healthy breakfast. Its a great combination of black bean, Sweet potato and cranberry. It helps to control cholesterol.


  4. yum -a hearty salad. black beans and sweet potato are actually pretty popular i've come to find. i just did a post on the combination and your salad is used as an example :)


  5. This combo with chedder cheese wrapped in a tortilla makes a great lunch

  6. I made this and added cooked quinoa and it was awesome!!! Huge hit with the fam, will be making it again! I bet it'd be good with some toasted pine nuts or almonds.

  7. Tasty and easy! I've made it a few times now. I like to throw in some fresh cilantro too. I've eaten it plain, over field greens, on crostini and - my favorite - in a flour tortilla with a little white fish. Oh so good.

  8. I made this with orange juice instead of lemon and used 2 T of olive oil in the dressing just to make it more of an oil and vinegar thing. Yummy. Wasn't too sweet either. Love how the black bean and sweet potatoes play off of each other.



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