Thursday, October 14, 2010

Southwestern Salad

This is a repost, but one I just had to share, especially now that I've got a picture. I've been enjoying this salad a lot for lunch lately, because right now it just seems like the perfect food for me. I love making a whole wheat cheese quesadilla to go along with it. This meal is delicious and healthy-protein from the black beans, lots of fresh veggies, a yummy, refreshing dressing (though if you dislike cilantro, you could substitute another southwestern or chipotle ranch for it), crunchy tortilla chips....mmmm. Just make this. If you like southwestern salads such as the quesadilla explosion salad from Chili's, you'll just love this one.

Southwestern Salad
source unknown

I N G R E D I E N T S :

for the southwestern vinaigrette:

1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup lime juice (I didn't have quite enough juice-you probably need 4 large limes to get enough)
1/2 cup olive oil (I've been using could use canola as well)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

for the salad:
1 head of romaine lettuce
5 plum tomatoes, chopped (you can really use any kind)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, finely chopped (I only used half of a red onion, and it seemed like plenty)
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained (or frozen corn)
1 (6-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
garnish-fresh cilantro leaves
*I think this is also delicious with some chopped avocado

D I R E C T I O N S :

Layer lettuce and the next 7 ingredients, and toss to combine. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately with southwestern vinaigrette. If you are going to keep this salad on hand in the fridge for a few days, I think it's best to keep the ingredients in separate containers and combine right before eating, to maintain freshness. Also, I keep the dressing separate and add some just before eating to keep it from becoming soggy.

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