Quick and Easy Lunches: Cowboy Caviar

Many of you know my sister, Chelsea, and her beautiful baby boy, Tucker. Chelsea’s heart is buried somewhere between this sweet child’s smile and a place in Millers, MD called River Valley Ranch. Chelsea’s countless summers and weekends working at the ranch have given her an undeniable affinity for all things western: cowboy boots, tractors (hence Tucker’s nursery theme), horses, and dirt. Most of these things are not exactly shared interests between Chelsea and I. However, I could not have predicted my joy when she shared one of her beloved redneck recipes with me: Cowboy Caviar.

There isn’t really anything too western about this dish, other than the staple texmex ingredients of beans, avocados, and tomatoes. That doesn’t stop it from being any less awesome- in fact, I ate a big bowl of it for lunch, and it was fantastic. The great thing is its versatility- it can be eaten straight like a bean salad, mixed with lettuce for a normal salad, scooped with tortilla chips for a healthy alternative to guacamole or queso, or spread atop a chicken breast for a savory meal. Whatever way you prefer, Cowboy Caviar never ceases to delight- it also never ceases to be gone within 24 hours!

COWBOY CAVIAR

3 cans of whatever beans you prefer (we used kidney, garbanzo, and pinto), drained
2 avocados, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 can shoe peg corn, drained
Cilantro or onion, whichever preferred, to taste (onion adds a nice crunch)
Italian dressing, to taste- not too much, just enough to bind everything together
Salt and pepper

Mix it all together, and you’ve got yourself the best stuff this side of the Mississippi. It’s perfect to take to parties, picnics, or to keep on hand for an afternoon snack- if you can keep it around that long! It’s also packed with nutritious powerhouses, like protein-rich beans and heart-healthy avocado. Eat up- guilt free!

SIDE NOTE: Make sure that anything coming from a canned is drained and rinsed in a colander- not just for this recipe, but always. A vast majority of cans use BPA and other toxic chemicals in their lining that leach into your food and will affect your body- disrupting your hormone production and interfering with nutrient absorption. Fresh is always best, but if you don’t have time to cook fresh, make sure you always drain and rinse!

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