Tex-Mex Corn salad: delicious, nutrient and easily-digested
Time: prep. 10 mins
cook. 40 mins
Difficulty: very easy
Yields: 2 portions
Tex-Mex Corn salad is a great way to brighten up the days when the scorching summer sun robs us of all energy.
Few other dishes are able to nourish so well without being heavy; and the great thing is that you don’t even have to spend a fortune to make it!
What’s more, in case you have cooked the corn and red beans in advance (highly recommended), or bought them already cooked, you can have this tantalizing salad in just 10 minutes.
I call it salad but it is more a complete meal, because it contains all the macro and micro-nutrients that a healthy complete meal should have: plant-based proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, minerals, fibers and bio-active molecules.
Other benefits of corn salad
In addition to being rich in several functional health nutrients, Tex-Mex corn salad with red beans prepared as follows is one of the best ways to eat ‘the rainbow’.
But how and why should you eat a rainbow?
Eat the Rainbow is the campaign to promote the intake of an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables, in different colors, every day. According to the WHO, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables was responsible for approximately 3.9 million deaths worldwide in 2017.
Quantity is important, but apparently not enough on its own; to ensure a healthy life, a wide variety must also be included in the diet.
The different colored pigments in fruit and vegetables indicate different groups of bio-active molecules: the green color reveals the presence of chlorophyll; the red color comes from lycopene; the white from flavones; the orange color is caused by beta-carotene; the yellow color is generated by alpha-carotene and the anthocyanins give the food its purple and blue colors.
Therefore, a colorful diet (of course, I am referring to naturally colored food, not industrially colored food) also allows the intake of all these phytonutrients, which have numerous health benefits.
A few tangible examples: observational studies show their usefulness in beating cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer.
Nonetheless, the most immediate and useful result, I believe, would be obtained in those children with a certain reluctance to eat fruit and vegetables: in fact, if my mother had proposed me ‘eating the rainbow’ when I was a child, I would probably have happily tasted it and even asked for another portion!
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Apart from the already very important benefits just listed, the flavors and spices recommended by CHE also play a key role in this corn salad: a synergistic effect for a knockout antioxidant and antibacterial action.
In fact, the combination of cumin and coriander could prove very useful in the treatment of chronic and seasonal ailments: in summer, food safety in the sense of hygiene and healthiness is constantly under threat, given the easy growth of microorganisms in food, particularly pathogens.
These two spices also serve to combat other widespread discomforts: meteorism and flatulence[5, 6, 7]. And at a time when the Western world is (not too shyly, fortunately) increasingly embracing complementary and alternative medicine, ‘grandma’s aromatic remedies’ are also finding a warm welcome, even where they are not of our country.
A small note: for many, coriander is inedible because of its strong smell, which is universally associated with the scent of soap; nevertheless there are also many people (like me), who after several attempts and renunciations, finally find it delicious! So don’t throw in the towel at the ‘first experience’; after that, if you just can’t get over your neophobia, then replace it with parsley: not as much as its relative, but even the dear old and well-known parsley is an aromatic plant used for its various benefits, including flatulence.
I suppose you wonder why I insist on this noisy discomfort; well, since my Revolution tends to be inclusive, I tend to want to ‘enlist’ everyone, even those who would immediately exclaim ‘ah, but I can’t eat beans!’
In the recent article on corn, I mentioned the many health benefits of corn, but emphasized that these were only for non-GMO maize and closer to its natural state; certainly not for delicious junk food such as industrial nachos or cornflakes with added fructose syrup, salt and a thousand artificial flavors.
Consequently, in case you want to make corn salad using canned corn, check the label carefully and do not be fooled by the name: apart from sweetcorn, water and salt (preferably a little), there should be nothing else, such as sugar.
The name ‘sweet corn’ only refers to a variety of maize (namely, sweet corn), which is sweet by nature; therefore no extra sugar is needed.
And should you opt to cook the cob yourself, you should definitely make sure that it is tender and fresh, preferably from the day; otherwise, instead of the usual 7-10 minutes, the cooking time could double, at least.
Similarly, as a matter of convenience, you might decide to buy ready-to-use red kidney beans.
However, for the sake of your pocket and sustainability, I would advise you to cook the dry ones in quantity, so that you can use them conveniently when needed.
In the latter case, keep in mind that red kidney beans require a long soaking and proper cooking to deactivate the naturally occurring dangerous anti-nutrients. For more on the subject of lectins, I heartily recommend reading this detailed article.
Ingredients for corn and red kidney bean salad
1 boiled cob (cold and shelled)
250g red kidney beans (cold and drained)
1 tomato, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
½ avocado or ½ cucumber (both, if desired)
½ red onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (optional, otherwise parsley is fine)
the juice of half a lemon (or more if you like it)
2 tablespoons of evo oil
2 tablespoons of greek yogurt (instead of unhealthy mayo)
1 tablespoon of feta crumbles or parmigiano or vegan cheese or nothing
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
½ teaspoon cumin powder
salt and chilli pepper (optional)
Nothing could be simpler.
Shell the boiled and cooled cob: to speed up the operation, use a sharp knife and cut the kernels lengthwise from the cob (as if you were slicing a doner kebab, to be precise).
Cut all the vegetables into cubes, after having removed the seeds from the pepper and peeled the cucumber and/or avocado.
Chop the fresh coriander (or parsley) together with the garlic.
Mix extravirgin olive oil, greek yogurt, salt, cumin, chilli with the lemon juice and vinegar.
Take a large salad bowl and put in the corn kernels, red kidney beans and chopped vegetables.
Add the coriander (or parsley) and garlic; I personally prefer the latter chopped; but you can also opt for 2-3 pieces, to be removed before serving the corn salad.
Finally, add the mixture of oil, lemon juice and etc.
Adjust the salt and mix well before serving.
Enjoy your Tex-Mex Corn Salad and good revolution to all
1) GBD 2017 Diet Collaborations. Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 2019, 393, 1958–1972
2) Blumfield, M.; Mayr, H.; De Vlieger, N.; Abbott, K.; Starck, C.; Fayet-Moore, F.; Marshall, S. Should We ‘Eat a Rainbow’? An Umbrella Review of the Health Effects of Colorful Bioactive Pigments in Fruits and Vegetables. Molecules 2022, 27, 4061
3) Minich, D.M. A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for “Eating the Rainbow”. J. Nutr. Metab. 2019, 2019, 2125070.
4) Bag, Anwesa, and Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay. “Evaluation of Synergistic Antibacterial and Antioxidant Efficacy of Essential Oils of Spices and Herbs in Combination.” PloS one vol. 10,7 e0131321. 1 Jul. 2015
5) Larijani, Bagher et al. “Prevention and Treatment of Flatulence From a Traditional Persian Medicine Perspective.” Iranian Red Crescent medical journal vol. 18,4 e23664. 31 Jan. 2016,
6) Bansal, Anshul, Vaibhav Bansal, and Rajeshwar Singh. “Cumin: A spice or a drug?.” World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2014): 507-515.
7) Laribi, Bochra, et al. “Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) and its bioactive constituents.” Fitoterapia 103 (2015): 9-26