01 MAY 2022

Cowboy Caviar Makes a Great Salad, Dip or Garnish

Cowboy caviar is a simple and easy-to-make recipe that is filled with in-season produce.

The weather is warming up in Solano County, bringing an early harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

As you plan pool parties, beach trips and backyard barbecues this year, be sure to include vegetables and fruits in your meal planning, advises NorthBay Healthcare registered dietitian Laura O’Mary. A good way to do this is to include some summer-season fruits and vegetables, such as: 

  • Avocados 
  • Basil
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Grapes 
  • Mango
  • Melons 
  • Peaches 
  • Peppers
  • Shallots
  • Strawberries
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes 
  • Watermelon

Including some of these produce items throughout the summer will help keep you healthy and energized for your outdoor activities. At barbecues and summer outings, be on the lookout for sneaky sodium in condiments and be mindful of carbs, said Laura. 

Enjoying a hamburger bun or tortilla plus chips and corn can cause your carbohydrates to quickly add up. The best way to keep your meals tasty and well-rounded is to get creative with vegetable kebobs and various fresh salads. 

Here is a simple recipe that can be used as a salad, dip or garnish for your summer foods that is filling and loaded with in-season vegetables and fruits: 

Cowboy Caviar, 12 servings

For the dressing:

⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced (can use garlic powder as well)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

3 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded if desired, and diced
2 ripe avocados, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced 
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (find a low sodium option if you can)
1 (15-ounce) can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained (find a low sodium option if you can)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (or skip this item to lower carbs) 
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish, if desired
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar and lime juice together. Season with about ½ teaspoon of pepper, or to taste. 

Salad: Add the tomatoes, red onion, black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño, avocado and cilantro. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, toss well and season to taste. Sprinkle with scallions. 
For the best taste, cover it and let it sit in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours before adding in the dressing. 

Serve this dish as a salad on its own, with a serving of tortilla chips, in a lettuce wrap, or as a garnish on burgers, sandwiches and more. 

You can modify it however you’d like to meet your food goals. Want more protein? Add in more with beans and even nuts. Want less carbohydrates? Skip the corn.

The recipe as-is contains approximately 205 calories, 21g of carbohydrates, 6g of protein, 11g of fat, 168mg of sodium, and 3g of sugar. 

If you'd like more guidance on incorporating healthy meals into your life, you can schedule an appointment with a NorthBay nutritionist at (707) 624-7900.

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