On a camping trip years ago, my friend Alicia brought out a bowl of Guy Fieri’s Black Bean Salad and some tortilla chips to share. Besides being delicious, it was pretty healthy too. And – speaking selfishly – the best part was that it had no dairy in it! Appetizer dips and even your standard barbecue side dish salads are always a challenge for me because of my dairy intolerance since most of them have cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, or some combination of those very tasty ingredients. I asked for this recipe right away, and have made some version of it probably fifty times since then. I’ve taken to serving it as a dip, rather than a side dish type salad, but it is so tasty that you can easily serve it either way.
The key modifications that I’ve made to the revered Mr. Fieri’s recipe are removing the tomatoes and adding more pineapple, cilantro and cumin. Living in Florida, you get used to having tropical fruit in all kinds of dishes on a regular basis. A can of crushed pineapple gives you a ton of flavor, no fat, and absolutely NO chopping or sticky mess all over your counter. The cilantro provides an herby freshness to accompany the pineapple, and the additional cumin lends some savory flavor that was provided by the tomatoes in the original recipe.
This easy and very tasty dip is a camping staple for us. Much like Alicia did, I now make this dip at home before we leave on the camping trip. The best part of preparing these munchies ahead of time is that makes for an instant happy hour when you get it out of the fridge at your campsite because you don’t have to do anything but put it out on the table with some chips, grab yourself a nice cool beverage, and put your feet up. It also gives the flavors time to combine which really makes it even better.
Truthfully, this Black Bean and Corn Dip is a monumental pain to make at a campsite. I’ve made it in my camper a couple of times and it takes, no joke, at least twice as long because chopping this number of fresh herbs and vegetables with one knife, a small cutting board, and less than two square feet of counter space is not the easiest thing to do. And never mind the space that fresh herbs take up in a small camper refrigerator. Fresh cilantro is a critical ingredient in this dish, and I can hear my husband yelling to me as he tries to figure out how to fit a week’s worth of groceries into a dorm size fridge: “Do you really need all of this green stuff?” The moral of the story is a stackable container of already made dip takes up a lot less space than its ingredients.
The same goes for my Easy Game Day Guacamole which I attempted to make in the camper once (and only once). I ended up having to mash the avocados with my hands since my masher mysteriously went missing and I ended up with avocado all over the door handles because I didn’t want to wash the avocado off my hands inside the camper because of the, ahem, delicate plumbing that you need to keep all manner of food waste out of. It wasn’t pretty. Keep it simple and make both of these ahead of time. You and the folks you’re sharing them with will be glad you did 🙂