This is a partnered post with Naturally Fresh® Brand Salad Dressing, but all opinions are my own.
Sometimes you come across a food company that sincerely cares about the products they're putting out there for our consumption.
Naturally Fresh® Brand is just that kind of company.
Not only do they include high-quality, home-style ingredients in their products, but they also leave out the preservatives and the artificial flavors and colors upon which so many other foods on store shelves rely. (You'll find their dips and dressings in the refrigerator section because of this!) Naturally Fresh offers a great variety of dressings, from the classics like ranch and bleu cheese to more unique options like ginger and honey mustard.
What better to pair with a salad like this one that's composed of fresh, colorful, flavorful, and delicious ingredients than a dressing that also exhibits many of those qualities?! This is a side dish that seems appropriate for any number of occasions, from an Independence Day cook-out (hint hint!) to a random Thursday night dinner. There's a bit of a southwestern flair to it, with the presence of the black beans and cumin and the cilantro and lime that get mixed into the already-magnificent dressing.
As I was putting this salad together, it occurred to me that although I used ranch dressing (made with Naturally Fresh's own buttermilk!), it would be just as good with balsamic vinaigrette (regular or better yet, white balsamic citrus!) or even a coleslaw dressing! I liked the dressing so much that I began to look for other places (other than an obvious regular side salad) to use it. I've successfully made a few recipes from the Naturally Fresh website, including the twice-baked potatoes and something like this chicken Caesar wrap, and I'm looking forward to experimenting more because the products are so impressive!
I work in the food industry, and though my company admittedly does make use of preservatives, that doesn't mean I want to be consuming copious amounts of them. If you share that opinion, Naturally Fresh is the dressing-maker for you! Even if that sort of thing isn't important to you, I think you'll find these dressings to be absolutely delicious. Find a store near you here!
- 2/3 cup Naturally Fresh Brand Classic, Jalapeno, or Lite Ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2/3 cup packed cilantro, stems removed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1-1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
- 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 medium avocado, diced
In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by blending all of the ingredients together; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, pepper and seasonings.
Add the dressing and stir to combine.
Refrigerate for an hour or 2 to allow the flavors to develop.
When ready to eat, add in the diced avocado and serve chilled.