Slaws are usually associated with summer and barbecues, but they do not have to be.  This one is easily prepared with almost anything out of your pantry.  There are no set rules that you have to use what I used.  To be honest, I alternate the ingredients in this slaw all the time based on what I have on hand and what is in season.  Of course, there are a few holy grail items that I always include; black beans, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, chives, nuts, apples.  But, other than that use your imagination and your taste-buds (that goes without saying).  This slaw packs great nutritional value as well.  After a long workout you feel nourished and revived if you eat this.  Food for your soul, if you will.

This is great for a luncheon, or a potluck.  It holds up quite well at room temperature.  I love all the vibrant flavors and colors.  I swear, I should just make the move to Mexico.  I am so drawn to cilantro, jalapenos, and limes.  I will have nothing in my fridge but all of those items will most definitely be there.  It might be my Pakistani background that attracts me to these bright and bold flavors.  Whatever it is, I can never get enough.

Another plus to this slaw is that it requires hardly any effort.  I take my handy mini-food processor and the dressing is done in seconds.  The chopping is not at all exhaustive and is done in 5 minutes.  A quick toss and you have a cheerful and delicious dish.

Black Bean Slaw

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

2 cups blacks beans, soaked overnight and cooked (canned is fine too, but wash and rinse)

2 cups broccoli slaw

1/2 a red onion, chopped (omit or use less if you do not like the raw onion flavor, another option would be scallions)

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 apple, diced (leave the skin on)

1/2 an English cucumber or 2 Lebanese cucumbers, diced (leave the skin on)

handful dried cranberries

1/2 a cup on dried apricots, diced

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or more, if you would like)

salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

For the dressing

1 clove of garlic

15 sprigs of chives

handful of cilantro leaves

1/2 a jalapeno, seeded

juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon light sour cream or yogurt

1 teaspoon light mayo

1 tablespoon of honey

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Method

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl with some salt and black pepper.  Toss in the dressing a little at a time, so that is becomes the consistency you like (it should not too runny).  You may not have to use all of the dressing.

For the dressing:  Put all the ingredients into a mini-food processor and pulse until everything is uniform.  If you do not have a mini-food processor, use a blender.  If using a blender, put all the ingredients into the blender except the olive oil and stream in the olive oil while the blender is running.

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