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Thrive Energy Cookbook’s black bean, sweet corn & mango salsa

Try this protein-packed salsa for your next summer meal.
Try this protein-packed salsa for your next summer meal. Jennifer Hellickson

While I’m no vegetarian, I do make an effort to incorporate plant-based, nutrient-dense, whole-food recipes into my meal planning.

Why? Well, as much as I love a good steak, I can feel my body processing it for hours on end; sometimes it’s nice to eat stuff that’s less intensive to digest, which means you’ll have more overall energy.

That’s why I was excited about checking out the new Thrive Energy Cookbook from Brendan Brazier (former pro triathlete, ultramarathon champ, creator of Vega). His purpose-driven recipes are intended to fuel performance.

This salsa, for example, is a twist on the southwestern classic. Bursting with flavor — and protein — it’s perfect over veggies, atop a salad or (my favorite) with chicken or fish.

Thrive Energy Cookbook’s Black Bean, Sweet Corn & Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (or rinsed canned) black beans
  • 1 cup peeled and diced mango
  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (from 2 cobs)
  • 1/4 cup finely-diced red onion
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp avocado or hemp oil
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Toss well. Best served immediately.

More information:

- First, gather all the ingredients — note: I substituted olive oil for the avocado/hemp oil, though, and used the whole can of beans.

- Want a trick for dicing up those tough-to-handle mangos? Slice ‘em, score ‘em, then flip ‘em inside out and scrape out the chunks. Easy!

- Since Hubby and I are big cilantro fans, I added a bit more than the recipe called for, too.

- One quick stir, and you’re done — eat alone, with veggies, or spoon over grilled chicken or fish for a heartier, non-vegetarian meal.

- I’ll be sharing more recipes as I experiment with the book, but if you’d like to check out other plant-based options in the meantime, visit the Thrive Forward recipe center for more information.