Well it is day four of our Salad Scentral week. So far so good getting the New Year off to a great start! It feels wonderful being healthy and incorporating more fresh fruit and veg into our lives. It is the clean food our bodies need after all the holiday time indulging. But instead of strapping ourselves with boring “diet” food, which loads of people do for January, we are having “live it” foods! No wonder people fall off the bandwagon so easily when they experience such depravation. And many of the so called “diet foods” are in fact quite processed. I read in the book “The Daniel Plan” (I am not on the plan, just enjoy the book and recipes) that if something comes from a plant then it is good to eat. But if it was made in a plant, then leave it on the shelf!
Well today’s salad is actually one of my favorites. It is packed with different flavors and textures, and it reminds me of Los Angeles. Though it has a Mexican vibe, as I have shared before on here, living in L.A. for so many years I was able to enjoy some of the best Mexican food in the world outside of Mexico itself (due to the large number of Mexican immigrants). In fact, I often serve this particular salad as a side when I am having other “South of the Border” foods like tacos or enchiladas. It is a sturdy salad too. What I mean by that is that it keeps well. Most salads get wilted once you put the dressing on them. But this one stays nice and crunchy and the flavors actually improve!
Mexican Fruit Salad (aka Musical Fruit Salad)
1 tin 200 g sweet corn, drained
1 tin 400 g black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion thinly sliced
6 Peppadew Peppers (or one cucumber) thinly sliced
Watermelon (750 g) peeled, seeded and diced into cubes
6 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander or fresh mint
Mexican cheese or Feta Cheese (as much as you like, to crumble on top)
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 2 fresh limes
2 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil if you don’t have avocado oil)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili flakes
salt and ground pepper to taste
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the beans, corn, peppers/cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Cover and leave to macerate in the refrigerator for one hour.
2. To serve, add the watermelon and fresh coriander to the bowl of beans/corn mixture and gently stir. Arrange on a large platter, serving bowl or a hallowed out watermelon. Sprinkle with the Mexican or feta cheese.
I often like to serve food in food. Does that make sense? For instance when I make my Spinach Dip I like to serve it in a hollowed out cabbage, or bell pepper, etc. It makes it appealing if you are entertaining. A WOW factor. And one less bowl to wash! So with this salad, I like to put it in a hallowed out watermelon, since HELLO it has watermelon it in. The only thing is you have to slice off a bit off the bottom of the melon so it will stay stable.
Now you might be wondering why I call it a Musical Fruit Salad when it is technically a Mexican Fruit Salad. Well, I explained it like this to my cookery class students in Dublin when I made this for a Mexican themed brunch demonstration:
“Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot. The more you toot the better you’ll feel, so eat your beans at every meal!”
If you could have seen their faces! I’ll never forget it. So that is why today when I did the tutorial on Snapchat (username: blissbakery) I had to share that ditty with them too. But then again, I was wearing a sombrero and dancing to “Livin’ La Vida Loca” so they probably weren’t as shocked!
Adiós y amar a mis amigos!
P.S. I love to listen to music while I cook, as I have mentioned before, and even though I am a bad singer and a bad dancer (with some good recipes), I still get to burn off calories moving around! Move more, eat less is a good healthy motto for the New Year!