Southwest Black Bean and Bell Pepper Salad

There are recipes that stand the test of time. I’ve been making this one for more years that I can remember; it’s so versatile, delicious and nutritious.  Fiber-rich beans are a superfood;  tossed here with bell peppers, red onion and cilantro and this dish bursts with flavor and phytonutrients that boost our health.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”left” source_author=”Steven Pratt MD and Kathy Matthews” source_title=”SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods that Will Change Your Life” full_quote=”Beans are a superb heart-healthy food. A study conducted over nineteen years following 9,632 men and women found those who ate beans at least four times a week had a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared with those who consumed beans less than once a week. Those who ate beans most frequently also had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol and were less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes” short_quote=”Beans are a superb heart-healthy food.Those who ate beans most frequently had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol.”]


  • Use any color bell peppers, or poblano peppers
  • Add 1 cup corn
  • Add 1 or 2 diced avocados
  • Use cilantro instead of parsley
  • Use other dried fruit instead of dates

This recipe can be used so many different ways. It’s a great one to  double and use differently throughout the week.

  1. Vegetarian dinner for guests, served over a bed of brown rice, with chopped cilantro scattered decoratively on top and accompanied by a green salad tossed with mango, nectarines or other summer fruit. For dessert Peach and Blackberry Crisp or Epicurious: Plum Kuchen
  2. As a side dish with grilled chicken and Watermelon Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
  3. Toss leftovers with greens (spinach, kale, arugula) for lunch
  4. Toss leftovers with grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley) for a second dinner
  5. Make a wrap or pita sandwich with guacamole, or feta cheese, or a dollop of pain Greek yogurt and a handful of greens


Southwest Hummus Wraps

For a delicious lunch or light supper, spread this Southwest Hummus , enriched by red bell pepper and cilantro, on a wrap or into a pita bread, add black beans, avocado and spinach for a healthy, delicious quick lunch or light supper. For an extra-kick add some chopped jalapeño, locoto or serrano.

Southwest Hummus

Beans are so important to our health that we should  Eat More Beans. Hummus/bean dips are a delicious way to do this. I use them instead of mayo as a sandwich spread, or in wraps with leftover grains and spinach (or other greens).

Roasted bell peppers make this one of my favorite bean spreads. Garbanzo and tahini are staples in our house. When bell peppers are not in season, I use store-bought roasted red peppers (read ingredient label to ensure there’s no sugar or unnecessary addivites).

This a quick appetizer to put together for impromput dinner with friends, or to take as a contribution for dinner at someone else’s home.

Garbanzo beans have been used to treat blood pressure for thousands of years and can lower cholesterol levels. So let’s have Hummus for a Healthy Heart

Eggplant Red Bell Pepper Dip with Almonds

This is hugely popular as an appetizer with pita chips for dinner parties. I also use it as a spread on toasts or wraps – add some spinach leaves and maybe a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds — for a snack or even lunch.

Red bell pepper is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid vitamins related to vitamin A and beta-carotene. “A number of studies have shown an inverse relationship between dietary intake of foods rich in lutein/zeaxanthin and the incidence of age-related macular degeneration. Prevention of tis devastating visual disability is most likely a lifelong job. The earlier you start, the better off your retina will be. At the same time, it’s never too late to take action.”

SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods that Will Change Your Life, Steven Pratt MD and Kathy Matthews