December 14, 2011

"on hand" southwest salad

I think it's funny how people (myself included) say, "You can throw this meal together with things you already have in the fridge and cupboard". It sounds great in theory until you look at the recipe and realize that the person who wrote it has a completely different sense of grocery shopping than you do.

Most of us have a cuisine that we like to frequent. I find that I make Mexican inspired meals when I'm out of ideas and so I always keep black beans, corn, salsa, cilantro, tortillas and/or chips on hand. Other people really like Asian meals. Others steer towards curries or Italian. So, I thought I'd throw out a few recipes of "on hand" meals for a few different cuisines to hopefully inspire you as you peer in your fridge at 5 p.m.
sorry about the poor quality - trying to figure out "raw" images.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2 chicken breasts, diced (I always have frozen on hand)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 head green leaf lettuce, cleaned and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup ranch dressing
shredded cheese
guacamole (I buy a six pack from Costco and freeze it)

In a medium pan over medium-high heat add oil and heat until hot. Saute chicken breasts a couple of minutes until starting to brown. Add cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir in black beans and corn and saute until warm throughout. Set aside to cool a couple of minutes (you don't want it to completely wilt the lettuce).

Blend together cilantro and ranch dressing until cilantro is chopped (I use my Magic Bullet for this - if you want to thin it out a bit, and have a lime on hand, add the juice of it).

Place lettuce, diced tomato, cheese, guacamole and chicken/bean/corn mixture in a bowl and top with cilantro dressing. I served this with some cheese quesadillas but you can also use chips or just serve the salad.


  1. That looks SO good. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This was really yummy. Even the next day for leftovers!

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  4. I made this on Saturday. It was so good! It's easy and fast to put together. I'm having it for lunch today. Thanks for sharing!


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