Black Bean Salad with Mouth Tingling Dressing

I’m not going to lie to you. I LOVE garage sales. I don’t know if it’s is because it brings me feelings of nostalgia of my childhood, spending hot summer days driving through the country roads of Ontario with my Mom, the sun beating down on us as we stopped at farm yards to find little antique treasures for 5¢, or if it’s because I always like to get a good deal and bust out my negotiating skills!

There was a while there where we were not doing too much garage saling (Yes, Mom, I’m a aware that this is not a real word), but now that we have a toddler, this is one of the best forms of entertainment out there that is cheap and gets us out and about. Plus we get to discover new hoods and learn more about Vancouver.

A couple of great finds last weekend included this…

1970’s Retro Peugeot folding bike for $15! Needs some air in the tires, but mostly just a clean up. I could look into getting it fully restored, however right now I am only interested in making it ride smooth.

Also found, toys for the little one. Total cost, $4.

But my most exciting find were 42 glass jars for $8 and pure inspiration for this post (and a future relish post ;)). Inspiration seems to pop up in the strangest places…

I have to admit that that idea of a salad in a jar did not come from me. I first came across this in a Martha Stewart magazine and though “Oh Martha, you’re so smart!”. Seriously, I say that a lot when I read her magazines…I also just recently saw this idea in the latest issue of Clean Eating Magazine. Since we are getting near to September, a lot of you out there might find this handy for a possible lunch to go idea. Or if you are a working professional, this is a great way to save money and take your lunch to work. Eating clean and staying on track so you can avoid the processed stuff means that some preparation is required. I used all ingredients that I had on hand, either leftovers or staples in my pantry. I have to say, the kicker to making this salad memorable was the subtle mouth tingling that I got from the dressing. Leave out the chicken and cheese to make it a vegan meal.

Black Bean Salad with Mouth Tingling Dressing



  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili powder (no salt added)
  • 1 pinch cayenne powder
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 very small pinch sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a small glass jar. Place in fridge until ready to use. Use within 5 days.


  • 2 cans no salt added black beans
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 handful cilantro, rinsed
  • 1/4 of a small red onion sliced or diced!
  • 1 cob of cooked sweet corn, corn taken off cob (I used leftovers from the night before)
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced or diced!
  • 1 small vein ripe tomato, cubed
  • 4 leafs of green leaf lettuce
  • 5, 1″ cubes of chicken breast (optional)
  • 2 oz of a sharp cheese (optional)


1. Rinse black beans with water. Mix in bowl with lemon juice. You will only use 1/4 of a cup for this recipe, so put the rest in a container in the fridge.

2. Layer your salad in a 1L glass jar. Begin with 1/4 of the dressing on the bottom, then a 1/4 cup of the black bean mix, red onion, cilantro, tomato, chicken, cheese, avocado, corn and lettuce at the top. Seal it up and take on the go OR refrigerate and use within 2 days. Can be eaten in jar (shake before eating) or dumped on a plate. Either way, it is fresh, packed full of nutrients and a great way to take your lunch to work with no fuss.

Note: I used the remainder of the black beans that night mixed with more corn, onion and cilantro and  wrapped it in a lettuce leaf with cheese on top. So good! I love turning 1 meal into 2! Another time saving idea!  

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2 Responses to Black Bean Salad with Mouth Tingling Dressing

  1. Kristan says:

    Sounds absolutely delicious!!! LOVE the bike too!

    • Suzanne says:

      I’m SO excited to get the bike up and working! First time that I have wanted to get on a bike in a while…It’s super cool how it folds..IN THREE! So even if I don’t ride it through the winter, it stores great! Can you tell I am excited?

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