Cohousing Recipes: Vegan Mexican Bean Salad

This is the second in a four part series of cohousing recipes. As part of Joanne’s role as community meal prepper last week, she wanted to prepare items that reflected the diversity of food values and choices within the community. Being a self-described “meatatarian”, she is somewhat unaccustomed to preparing non-omnivore meals but she wanted to be respectful of her friends’ personal values and dietary requirements. The series is meant to showcase the respect and love we can show one another, simply by caring about what people can, and choose to eat in community.

Joanne says: Our cohousing group also includes a vegan family. I’m 99% sure this salad is vegan and 100% sure it is delicious. It is pretty good the second day too. Not sure about day 3; it’s never lasted that long. This is from the Wealth of Health website.

Vegan Mexican Bean Saladvegan-mexican-bean-salad-400x284



  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed (no-salt added)
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) whole-kernel corn, drained (no-salt added)
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro


  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp each ground cumin and chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds


  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients and mix into salad.

Being Respectful: Food

As practice for living together in Prairie Spruce Commons, three families cook supper for everyone else once a month. Last week, it was my turn to help cook the community meal before our monthly meeting.

Thanksgiving Church Potluck
Photo courtesy of Lars Hammer on Flickr

First, it’s important I let you in on a secret: I was born and raised on a farm, a cattle farm. I knew from a young age where the meat came from on our table, and not to make pets out of the cattle in the pen. There was meat, potatoes and gravy for dinner and supper every day. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free were not a words our family was familiar with.

Since I’ve been married and had a son, I’ve rebelled against my strict meat-and-potato upbringing. What did my mother know? Some days, we have meat and pasta. Other days we have meat and rice. Occasionally we even have meat and bread. In retrospect, my mother must have known something: my husband and son actually cheer when I make a roast with potatoes and gravy.

So back to the community meal… When we joined the cohousing community, I knew some of our members were vegetarians and vegans. Some members are opting to follow a gluten-free diet. Being an omnivore verging on a meatatarian, these diet considerations are a bit out of my comfort zone. But I wanted to make an effort to show respect for their choices and dietary requirements. The next four blog posts are the recipes I choose to follow in my attempt to accommodate my friends and neighbours in community. I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes as much as we did.