Summer Black Bean Salad

After our beach excesses, Fred and I crawled back to Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago, tails between our legs, shame-faced and begging forgiveness. But God was merciful and good, and we actually lost a little.

In general, though, we remain stuck. (Eating rabbit in cream sauce at the Federal isn’t helping.) Fred has lost close to 40 pounds and needs to lose 20 more, but the scale has not budged for him in months now. I’m trying to hang on to my own 17-pound loss, but keep creeping over my goal.

I explained our frustrations to our leader before the meeting. She said that we should try what’s known as the “Simply Filling” plan, in which you don’t count your points but eat primarily from certain groups of foods. She began to describe it.

My eyebrows went up in skeptical anticipation. I’d done the “Simply Filling” plan once before. I knew what it meant. Lots of vegetables and lean meats. Lots of fruit and milk. A lot less of our most recent dietary staples: bread, pizza, pasta, and potatoes.

The leader finished. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she said.

“It won’t work,” I said bluntly. “I’ve tried it and I hated it.”

“Really?” she replied, looking surprised. (It must be incredibly difficult to be a leader, forced to display cheerful optimism when confronted with people like me.) “I’ve found it’s a great way to kick-start my weight loss again.”

She handed me the booklet detailing the plan. “Just see what you think,” she said. She didn’t pat my hand, but I know she wanted to.

I took the book and grumped into the meeting, where I started flipping through the pages to avoid our leader’s upbeat smiles. About halfway through the book, I stopped. There was a photo of what looked like a pretty darn good black bean salad.

I read through the recipe, which included mangoes, limes, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper. This looks promising, I thought.

And it was. It has not revolutionized our weight loss yet, but it’s a sign of hope.

Black Bean Salad

I’ve substitued peaches for the mango, since peaches have been in season here, and added avocado because we had some on hand. The avocado could be omitted, but it adds a nice creamy texture.

For this dish fresh ingredients are absolutely essential. It will be ruined if you try substituting lime juice from concentrate for fresh, or use canned chopped garlic (or worse, garlic powder), or dried cilantro. I find that canned beans work just as well as cooked dry beans, but cook your own if you feel otherwise.

1 15 – oz. can black beans (you can also use dried beans that you have cooked), drained and rinsed
1 peach (peeled or unpeeled), cut into 1″ pieces
1 avocado, scooped from skin and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced (I leave in the seeds for more kick)
Juice of two limes
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix lime juice, garlic, and cilantro in small bowl. Add remaining ingredients to medium-sized serving bowl. Pour lime juice mixture over bean mixture and add salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

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