Cold Soak Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Couscous Salad

Straight out of Julie’s Dehydrator Cookbook For Outdoor Adventurers, this salad makes a delicious trailside lunch. A cold-soak salad doesn’t require hot water to rehydrate, so you needn’t unpack anything more than the salad and a fork. The zesty dressing complements the beans and zucchini nicely to make a satisfying meal, and the pepitas sprinkled on top provide the perfect crunch!

Meat Free • Nut Free • Soy Free • Sugar Free • Vegan Friendly

PREP TIME: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 5 minutes

DEHYDRATION TIME: 6 to 8 hours REHYDRATION TIME: 15 to 20 minutes 




1 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons oil, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt

1  cup couscous

Freshly squeezed juice from 3 limes

2   tablespoons rice vinegar 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1  cup white corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thaw if using frozen)

2   cups diced zucchini

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/2 cup queso fresco cheese, finely crumbled (optional)

To pack for trail:

1/2 cup roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

To Prepare

  1.     In a medium pot, combine the water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and the salt and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the couscous, and stir to mix. Cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a large bowl.
  2.     In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the lime juice, rice vinegar, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  3.     Add the black beans, corn, zucchini, and cilantro to the bowl containing the couscous. Stir to mix, then add the dressing and cheese (if using). Stir well.

 To Dehydrate

  1.     Spread the salad out evenly on the dehydrator trays fitted with a solid plastic insert.
  2.   Place the trays in the dehydrator. Set the dehy- drator to 135°F and turn it on. If your dehydrator has a built-in timer, set it for 6 hours. For models without a timer, set a separate timer.
  3.   At the 6-hour mark, check the vegetables. The zucchini and beans should be hard to the touch and should not feel moist. If necessary, continue to dry the salad for another 1 to 2 hours


To Store

Measure the total amount of salad, divide it into four portions, and place each portion in a boil-in bag. Divide the pepitas into 4 small zip-sealed bags and place one inside each salad bag. label and date the bags. Store for up to 1 year.

To Rehydrate

Remove the small bag of pepitas. Add 1/2 cup of cool water to the salad bag. mix it well, cover, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the salad again, and sprinkle the pepitas over the top, before eating.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (PER SERVING): 530 calories, 23 fat, 65g carb, 22g protein, 680mg sodium (28% DV).


 To see more fun recipes, we recommend checking out Julie’s cookbook!


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