This healthy Cowboy Caviar is a colorful, fresh, low carb snack or summer picnic dip!
Last Saturday the America's Cup World Series came to Chicago. It was the first time ever an America's Cup race has been held in freshwater. I'm really into sailing, so I could not have been more excited, and even if you are not that into sailing, it was still a really cool event. On Friday I was lucky enough to get to watch the practice races from Navy Pier and on Saturday I went out on the lake with some friends to get a different view. I'd say it was a pretty amazing view!!
Whenever we head out on the boat, we always take loads of snacks, and of course wine & cocktails along! I decided to whip up some of this yummy Cowboy Caviar and take it along on Saturday. It's easy to transport so it's great for summer picnics and BBQs! This is a really tasty, healthy dip and it's super easy to make. It also has the added benefit of being naturally vegan and gluten-free!
There are tons of different ways to make Cowboy Caviar - and a lot of them involve bottled salad dressing. While I'm not gonna tell you I never eat it, I'm not a huge fan of bottled dressing as it tends to have a lot of sugar and other not really healthy things in it. So since it's easy to do, I typically make my own dressings. I did the same for this recipe as I wanted something light and healthy without too much sugar or oil. I also like to be able to control the seasonings and adjust them to my tastes!!
The best part of this recipe is that it's loaded with veggies - remember that thing I have about not eating enough veggies?! Well, this recipe helps to solve that problem!! It's also a great make ahead recipe, though it's so quick and easy that it's ready in less than 30 minutes.
Making Cowboy Caviar
So, what's involved?? Since I wanted to be able to pull this together quickly, I used ingredients that don't require a lot of prep time.
You're basically going to chop some veggies, add the beans and make a quick vinaigrette. Then you just toss everything together and it's ready to serve. Easy!
A note about the ingredients
- Corn: I used frozen corn in this recipe. If you have a little time or happen to have your grill already fired up, I'd definitely recommend grilling the corn. It gives the dip a great flavor - and you really can't beat grilled corn. If you're gonna grill it, you need 2-3 ears of corn. Just baste them with some olive oil and throw them on the grill for about 15-20 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes, let the corn cool a bit and cut the kernels off the cob and toss them in the dip.
- Peppers: You might have noticed that I used only red pepper in this recipe - that's really because it's my favorite and typically what I have on hand. If you prefer green or some other color, or you happen to have a couple of different types in your fridge, then, by all means, use a combo - red, yellow, green or orange, whichever you like best!!
- Avocado: Let's talk about the avocados for a minute. If you are going to add them, do it at the last minute, right before serving, and only add them to the potion in the serving bowl. You don't want them to get all brown and squishy in the leftover dip. Then just add more when you are refilling the bowl or eating the leftovers!!
- Chips: Tortilla chips are the best with this - any type will do. Lately, I've been serving this with these Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla chips - they are a little more substantial than my favorite Whole Foods tortilla chips, so they work well with this as it is a slightly heavier dip.
This recipe makes kind of a lot of dip - about 6 to 7 cups so you can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days. It makes a great pre-workout afternoon snack and it's so tasty that I promise it won't go to waste!
Healthy Cowboy Caviar
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes, about 2 tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper, about 1 pepper
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ an avocado, diced
- In a large mixing bowl combine the beans, black-eyed peas, tomato, corn, pepper, onion and cilantro. Mix well.
- In a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, garlic salt, oregano, basil, chili powder and pepper. Whisk until blended. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Pour the dressing over the dip and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite chips.