Mandarin Orange Salad with Black Beans
There’s no shame in the canned food game! In fact, I love making meals out of those pantry staples. So I present to you, my mandarin orange salad! This flavorful salad uses pantry items like mandarin oranges, canned black beans, spices, olive oil and red wine vinegar, with some added freshness from red onion and cilantro! Whether winter, spring, summer or fall, this mandarin orange salad will be a hit!
How to make the Mandarin Orange Salad
I like to call this a “throw and go” recipe! It is so simple, the only prep needed is a quick julienne of the onions! To make this mandarin orange salad, open up a can of black beans (rinse and drain), a can of mandarin oranges (rinse and drain), add the salt, pepper, cumin, red onion, olive oil and vinegar. Stir the ingredients together and top with some fresh cilantro. Tadah! In under two minutes, you have this delicious mandarin orange salad!
Why Use Canned Food?
Canned produce is just as nutritious as fresh produce. These foods are typically picked at peak freshness and ripeness, so they have all the flavor and are accessible at any time. Additionally, the nutritional quality of canned produce is the same as if it were fresh! However when purchasing canned foods, I have a couple of tips:
- Look for items packed in water or 100% juice. Especially when it comes to purchasing mandarin oranges, steer clear of the ones packed in syrup. However if you can only find “packed in syrup” items, give the produce a good rinse!
- When shopping for beans, look for containers that say “no salt added.” This will help limit the sodium in your dish. Again, if all you can find are beans with added salt, drain and rinse them thoroughly.
Health Benefits of Mandarin Oranges
Mandarin oranges are a sweet, small variety of a tangerine that are packed with vitamin C. When it comes to vitamin C, associate it with skin. Vitamin C is essential in our diet because it is needed to form collagen. Collagen gives skin its elasticity.1 Vitamin C is not only good for our outermost layer of skin, but for our inner membranes and gums as well.1
Health Benefits of Black Beans
Black beans are a starchy legume that really take on the flavor of the ingredients they’re cooked with. They provide us with many nutrients. When it comes to black beans, think fiber and plant-based protein (there are many other nutrients that also provide health benefits).2
Fiber is important for digestion – it keeps us regular.3 In addition, fiber has been shown to be beneficial to our hearts by reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol circulating in the body, helping us maintain fullness, regulate spikes in blood sugar and possibly even prevent cancer.3
Protein is important for many functions within the body. For example, it aids in the growth of muscles and other tissues throughout the body.4 In addition, it gives our cells their structure, and makes up enzymes that facilitate interactions within the body. These are just a few of the many functions of protein. It is important to keep in mind that plant-based protein in beans is not a complete protein.4
- Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. doi:10.3390/nu9080866.
- Ware M. Black beans: Health benefits, facts, and research. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/289934. Published January 10, 2018. Accessed March 14, 2020.
- Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417.
- Van De Walle G. 9 Important Functions of Protein in Your Body. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functions-of-protein#section1. Published June 20, 2018. Accessed March 14, 2020.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 ounces/1/2 cup mandarin oranges canned in their own juice, drained and juice set aside
- ½ red onion thinly sliced julienne
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- In a bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin, and juice from mandarin oranges.
- Add onion, beans, and oranges. Mix in cilantro.