Laptop Lunches #159

Fig and apple slices, jalapeno seasoned pretzel thins, pinto bean salad (recipe below), and a very sad half of an avocado I otherwise had forgotten about that I perked up with some black pepper.

Although my own version of this was technically not vegan, I have tagged it as vegan, because you can easily get pretzel thins that are vegan.

The pinto bean salad is adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2013. If you like Tex-Mex flavors but not the heat, this is a good one for you. If you do like the heat, serve this with something spicy and have the best of all worlds! (For the uninitiated, it's the cumin that makes it Tex-Mex.) This was very easy and really tasty, and soothed my cravings for Southwestern flavors in this cool northeastern summer. Plus, it's cheap and nutritious. They say you can only have two of the trifecta: cheap, tasty, and fast. This proves that wrong--unless you think sticking stuff in the fridge to marinate negates the "fast" part.

Pinto Bean Salad
Serves: 3-4

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cubes of frozen cilantro (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and gently patted dry
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine vinegar, lime juice, cumin, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Add cilantro cubes and whisk until well thawed and incorporated. Stir in remaining ingredients until well coated. Cover and chill for at least half an hour to allow flavors to meld (sensible lunch packers will do this the night before). Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

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