Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black Bean Asian Salad with Pineapples and Sesame-Ginger Dressing

I think sweet and savory flavors mingle so well with each other, yet it's sometimes scary for me to mix sweet and savory flavors together in a culinary arena. I love to eat it, but I am afraid to replicate it. In the past, I remember making a Moroccan dinner with turmeric, cinnamon, chickpeas, spinach, brown rice, and raisins. The sweet raisins tasted so yummy with the peppery turmeric! I wanted to relive the same experience.

I had pineapple chunks hanging out in my refrigerator today, and I decided to pair the sweet flavor of pineapple with the savory/spicy flavors of ginger and sesame. I love salads, so I decided to throw one together. The end product was a success! Below is the recipe for my Black Bean Asian Salad with Pineapples. Alter it to your liking.

Note: I rarely use measuring instruments when cooking (I definitely do when baking). Remember, cooking is an art!

-large handful of organic baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
-about 1/2 cup fresh pineapples, diced
-about 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
-about 1/3 cup cooked black beans

-about 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
-several shakes of low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
-a splash of pineapple juice (I used the juice the pineapple chunks were sitting in)
-several shakes of ground ginger
-about 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Place baby spinach on a large plate or a shallow bowl. Top with brown rice, black beans, and pineapples.

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, tamari, and pineapple juice. Whisk in ginger and sesame seeds. See photograph of finished dressing below.

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!

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