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Southwestern Coleslaw

Coleslaw clearly trumps potato salad in the nutritional department, but cabbage slaws made with traditional, mayonnaise-based dressings still can bump up the calorie count of a cruciferous vegetable that starts out at a humble 16 calories per cup.

This recipe keeps it clean and bright with a colorful salad that combines fiber-rich black beans with creamy bits of avocado that contain good fat and lycopene-rich tomatoes, all dressed in a light vinaigrette of fresh lime juice, rice vinegar and olive oil spiked with earthy cumin.

Researchers believe cruciferous vegetables contain compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which may reduce the rick of cancer.

Minus messy chopping, this recipe takes just minutes to prepare. But resist the urge to buy lime juice in a squirt bottle, the contents of which have a tinny taste that can't compare to fresh-squeezed. One medium lime produces 1 to 2 tablespoons of unstrained juice. For the half-cup of juice in this recipe, figure 4 to 8 limes depending on their juiciness.

Serving suggestions: Sprinkle Southwestern Coleslaw with crushed baked tortilla chips right before serving for a take on a crunchy, ramen noodle-style salad. Or serve with sliced, grilled chicken in a tortilla wrap.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings


1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 medium red onion, peeled and diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Place the coleslaw mix, black beans, cilantro, tomato, red onion, jalapeno and avocado in a large salad bowl.

Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over coleslaw and toss gently.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours until chilled through.

Nutrition information per serving: 113 calories (39 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 13 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 115 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

Southwestern Coleslaw - Photo by Tammy Ljungblad