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Black Bean & Corn Salad and… Pizza!

November 14, 2009

Tracey brought up a very good point in the comments of the last post – we have been posting quite a few dessert recipes late. So I thought I’d share two recent dinner-style dishes I’ve made. The good thing is that they share some common ingredients so you won’t be throwing away half-used vegetables! They are also pretty flexible, which is something you know I love!

The first recipe is… pizza! I know pizza is not that healthy, but doesn’t it feel virtuous to load it up with crunchy veggies?


Pizza dough is kind of a bitch to work with (pardon, mom!). It’s so sticky and messy! I used this recipe (from Once Upon a Plate) for the dough. Here is a list of my caveats and warnings to go with this recipe:

  1. Flour is your friend. I added more than the recipe states AND liberally floured my hands. A lot. If you don’t flour your hands, you will have Dough Monster Hands. This is where the cursing comes in.
  2. I stretched it out onto a normal size round pizza pan, and it was a little thicker than I wanted it to be. So be bold and free-form it to your desired thickness.
  3. Also, since I wanted it to be crispy, I par-baked it for about 5 minutes.

I topped my pizza with:

  • You should probably spread a little red sauce on the par-baked dough, but I forgot to do this because I am not the biggest fan of pizza sauce!
  • Caramelized onions: cut up half a red onion, and throw into a hot pan coated with hot olive oil. Cook for 30-40 minutes on medium heat, throwing a little salt over after about 10 minutes. Do not stir too often. (There are better resources out there if you want to learn about caramelization.)
  • Half of a red (or orange or yellow) pepper, sliced into strips.
  • About 8 ounces or 1 cup of mozzarella. Fresh is best of course, but make sure you blot it well to get as much water out of it as possible.
  • A sprinkle of blue cheese on half, because I am the only one in the house who likes it.
  • A few slices of pepperoni for the men in the house who turn their noses up at anything meatless.

There you have it, a relatively quick pizza dough, and of course you can put any topping you wish on there. I just like caramelized onions and blue cheese together because it’s similar to a pizza from Buca di Beppo (but, shhh, don’t tell my dad they put blue cheese on that pizza! He loves it!).

Next up is something even healthier. Remember my cannellini beans with tomatoes and onions? Now, swap out the cannellini beans for black beans. Add some more veggies. Use a squeeze of lime as your acidic element. And there you go.


You can eat this three or four ways, which is really good because it actually makes a lot and you’ll have leftovers.

  1. On its own, as a salad. Cold or warm.
  2. Scoop with tortilla chips like salsa.
  3. Serve Chipotle-style, on a burrito or taco!
  4. This pizza restaurant in Cincinnati serves essentially the same mix on a pizza, with chicken and barbeque sauce. It’s so yummy!

It’s also pretty quick to make; you just have to like chopping vegetables. Personally, I find it relaxing. I know, who feels relaxed with a sharp knife in her hands, right?!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 15 oz. can black beans (lowest sodium type you can find!)
  • 1 cup corn (frozen, or a can, or fresh)
  • half of a red onion (leftover from the pizza!)
  • half of a red, orange, or yellow pepper (leftover from the pizza 🙂 )
  • 2 tomatoes
  • half of a lime
  • little handful of cilantro
  • salt and pepper


  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Put them in a medium bowl.
  2. If you are using frozen corn, place it in a small pot of boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. Then drain it and rinse with cold water. Place in the bowl on top of the beans.
  3. Chop the onion, pepper, tomatoes and add them to the bowl. If you’re like me and don’t really like onions that much, soak them in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes after chopping. It takes the bite out!
  4. Squeeze the lime over everything, sprinkle the salt and pepper on top, and add chopped cilantro. Toss everything.

I know this isn’t the most glamorous dish ever, but there are lots of pretty colors involved! And it is pretty balanced, because there’s a protein and carbs, and if you drizzle a little olive oil over it and eat it as a salad, then you have a little fat too. I hope you enjoyed this idea of mine! 😀


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tracey permalink
    November 16, 2009 13:57

    I will definitely be making the black bean and corn salad this week! Thank you!

  2. Makini permalink
    November 19, 2009 19:18

    The Black Bean and Corn salad is delicious. Thanks.

  3. Healthy Man permalink
    January 16, 2010 03:06

    Thanks for your “Cheese article”.I love it!!

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