Freezer Burn

Black Bean, Mango, and Avocado Salad

Have you ever found something in your freezer that you couldn’t identify?  It rarely happens to me because I’m pretty good about labeling things and I do try to check over my freezer every month or so to see if there is anything I need to use up. However, here’s an example of how you can get “burned” if you don’t do that.

Last week I was doing freezer inventory and came across a bag of orange “cubes”.  I thought it was butternut squash so I decided to make squash and black bean enchiladas. I put the cubes in the microwave for a minute to thaw. Then I popped one of the cubes into my mouth and discovered that what I thought was squash was actually a very ripe mango.  Probably not good enchilada material.

In the back of my mind I remembered seeing recipes that combined black bean and mango so I headed to the internet for inspiration and found recipes like this one from EatingWell.com. I  didn’t have all of the ingredients but it was enough incentive for me to experiment on my own.  Here’s the recipe for the salad I put together:

  • 1 ripe mango, cut into cubes (see my instructions below)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cooked or canned black beans
  • Juice of one fresh lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tajin seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Combine the mango, avocado, beans and onion in a bowl.  Sprinkle the lime juice and Tajin over the mixture and toss gently to combine.  Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serves 2

This super simple combination packed a big flavor punch.  Sweet, spicy, tangy, creamy, and crunchy.  I can’t wait to try the other recipes I discovered using these ingredients.

While I am on the subject of mangoes I thought I would add some advice about slicing and preparing this delicious fruit.  In many parts of the world the mango is eaten out of hand just like an apple but most of us here in the USA prefer to skip the skin.

My method requires the careful use of a knife. Mangoes have a large flat pit in the middle and most of the flesh is found on either side of the pit.  I usually cut off a slice at the bottom so that I have a flat surface for stability.  Then I slice off each of the “cheeks”

I lay each mango half in the palm of my hand and use a small sharp knife to score it in both directions, getting as close to the inside of the skin as possible (without slicing open my hand!)

Once the flesh is scored you can turn the whole thing inside out and slice the cubed fruit off the skin. This is sometimes how a mango is presented for serving on buffets, etc. when you are traveling in countries where it is more commonly consumed.

While I’ve seen this video on the internet that shows mango halves being peeled using a drinking glass I can envision the glass breaking and slicing my wrist.  I’ll stick with my tried and true method rather than risk mangocide.

Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think of my salad.

 

 

 

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