Meals right before and right after trips are generally far from ideal. Before a trip, I usually end up stuffing myself silly with various fruits and vegetables in an effort to use up all the fresh produce in the house. A dinner salad with two whole bell peppers, an apple, a crown of broccoli, and three tomatoes? Pretty typical. When I return from a trip, however, the situation is often much bleaker. Once in college, I came back from winter break and found myself with no frozen convenience foods, no produce to speak of (save a bunch of questionably hairy carrots), and very slim pickens in the pantry department. In what I can only describe as an ultimate low point in my culinary endeavors, I resorted to mixing together a can of beans and a can of corn and drizzling some salad dressing on top.*
Conceptually, this chipotle-peach three-bean salad is not so different from that sad, sad college “meal,” although it feels far more gourmet and, well, intentional. The basic premise is the same (beans + corn + dressing), but the chipotle-peach vinaigrette really takes this bean salad to the next level. Two weeks ago, I shared a recipe for chipotle-peach quinoa salad, and that dressing was simply too amazing to resist repurposing it for other recipes—and stay tuned, because I’ve got at least one more chipotle-peach recipe coming your way soon! If you haven’t already tried this vinaigrette, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s simultaneously fruity, smoky, sweet, and spicy…basically, if you could capture the essence of summer and put it in a bottle, this would be it.
If fresh peaches haven’t yet appeared in stores near you or if it’s not even the right time of year for peaches, fear not! You can still make this vinaigrette with canned or jarred peaches. And given that chipotles also come in cans…that means that I could have been enjoying this delectable chipotle-peach three-bean salad that sad, sad January day in college, if only I had been a little more creative in the kitchen!
While this three-bean salad is undoubtedly a great option for when you’re just getting back into town and haven’t had a chance to go grocery shopping, it obviously has much more potential than that. It’s a fantastic side dish for any summertime meal, whether you need something to bring to a barbecue or you’re looking for something to accompany a simple meal at home.
What are some of the weirdest pre- or post-trip meals you’ve concocted?
*Since college, I’ve learned to plan ahead a little better and not put my future self in such a bind. I try to make sure there is a least one (relatively balanced) meal’s worth of food on hand before I go out of town (e.g. pasta, spaghetti sauce, and frozen veggies). And if I’m super on top of things, I’ll leave future me some chocolate as well!
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
- 1 cup frozen or canned corn
- 1 medium peach, pitted and diced (no need to peel the peach)
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Place the peach, chipotle peppers, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Rinse and drain the beans. In a large bowl, combine the beans and corn. Add the vinaigrette and stir gently to combine. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate the salad until you are ready to serve it. Before serving, sprinkle the green onions on top.
- Serves 6-8
- Vinaigrette recipe adapted from Detoxinista.
chef mimi says
Nice! I’m excited to try this vinaigrette!
I hope you love it as much as we do! We’re seriously obsessed with it 🙂
Haha, I know about some sad little meals post-travel… I also now try to plan ahead and have some of our staples stocked when we get back from a trip (or else something homemade in the freezer that defrosts quickly) so we don’t go hungry or resort to take-out. But this salad, this needs not wait for one of those days – this is perfect for summer picnics and BBQs and nights at the pool. And that vinaigrette sounds incredible – pinned and can’t wait to try it!
That’s a great idea to have something homemade in the freezer before you leave. I’ll have to try that sometime…although usually I’m so rushed before a trip that I barely remember to turn off all the lights! Let me know what you think if you try the vinaigrette!
Culinary Flavors says
Perfect light meal for the summer!
Yes, definitely! I’m glad this caught your eye.
This dressing sounds so yummy! I love chipotle anything and peaches are my favorite fruit. Trader Joes just got their boxes of peaches in this last week, and I was so excited to see them. I can’t wait to try this!
Ooh, it sounds like this dressing is perfect for you, then! I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂
Dad Whats 4 Dinner says
What a great combination of flavors! Happy FF! Pinned and shared.
Thanks so much! Chipotles and peaches really do go together amazingly well. I hope you get a chance to try this!
What a lovely summer salad! Happy Fiesta Friday!
Thanks, Colleen! I hope you’re having a great weekend.
Julie is Hostess At Heart says
I love everything about this salad! Pinned!
Thanks, Julie! Let me know what you think if you try it 🙂
I love it too! What a great update and that dressing sounds divine!! Even better that it’s so simple! Thanks for sharing this with us at Fiesta Friday.
Thanks, Mollie! And thank you for being a host this week!
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try the peach vinaigrette. Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase party.
Thanks, Kati, and thanks (as always) for hosting! I hope you love the vinaigrette as much as we do 🙂
Angie | Fiesta Friday says
Nice, Mara! It’s time for more salads! 🙂
Thanks, Angie! Indeed, my fondness for salads goes up along with the summer temperatures!
laurel @ wannacomewith says
I haven’t visited your blog for awhile (life’s been a little crazy), but I LOVE your new design! It looks fantastic! And this recipe looks fantastic too. Who doesn’t love bean salad? Bean salad + peaches and chipotle sounds even more amazing. I’m definitely going to be making this one. Thanks 🙂
Thanks, Laurel! I’m so glad you like the updated design – I’d been wanting to make some changes for a while, so it’s been fun to see those come to fruition. Let me know what you think if you give this a try! And I hope life settles down soon and you get a chance to relax 🙂