Picnics, parties, salads and sides. If you’re looking for a new dish that fits in all of those categories, this Chilled Southwestern Veggie Medley is the answer! This tasty, colorful plate of veggies is loaded with Southwest flavors and lots of crunch. It’s perfect for a make-ahead dish, it transports beautifully and couldn’t be easier to make. What makes the flavor? Fresh ears of corn that are grilled in a skillet or on the BBQ, then sliced into niblets of charred goodness. Charring the red peppers before dicing them also adds a great taste. Also, I’ve always cooked with shallots, but these days I’m realizing how much they bring to a dish. (They may be one of the most misunderstood vegetables out there—do they replace onions? Garlic? Can they be used with onions and garlic?) While some folks replace onions with shallots, a shallot has its own flavor profile, and can add so much to a dish! (Try slicing them very thin and frying them to a deep golden brown, then sprinkle them over a salad or potato dish. Wow!! Over the top goodness!) The flavors of the Southwest permeate this salad with the addition of black beans, jicama, avocados and cilantro. The dressing is lively, with the perfect combination of lime juice and zest, Dijon Mustard and a little sweetness to cut the tang. Over all, it’s a great main meal salad for the vegetarian, a tasty side for your grilled burger lover or just spooned into little tortilla cups for a terrific appetizer! Tortilla cups are simple. Just cut 2-3 inch circles out of flour tortillas, tuck them into a greased cupcake tin and bake for about 15 minutes. Done! I love recipes that give you all the flavor and nutrition you need and are pretty darn effortless to create! Here’s to another hat tip to our wonderful flavors of the Southwest!
fresh lime juice
I’ve always thought that we have certain flexibility with our choices for lunch and dinner. But breakfast? That’s a whole different story. If you’re a bacon person, you’re never going to order sausage. If you love your eggs over easy, then scrambled just won’t do. I think it’s safe to say that breakfast our way is non-negotiable. The same thing may be true with salad and salad dressing. If Italian vinaigrette is your choice, then a green goddess dressing is just not going to satisfy. The other issue with salad is, well, it’s generally thought of as the obligatory side to your entrée. That all changes here, with this mega main meal bonanza of goodness, flavor and crunch with a surprisingly bright, and full-bodied Cilantro Lime dressing! Wow, do I love this salad! I love everything about it; the fixings and the fact that it’s the main event! You can start with any lettuce you like. My choice is a combination of healthful greens like a Spring Mix and a crunchy chopped bag salad that is so readily available these days. This recipe has grilled chicken, but it’s fantastic with strips of steak of you’re a beef eater. I’m hoping this salad and the delicious dressing has everything you love and then some. If not, add your favorite fixings and make it a main meal to remember! After a week of Valentine’s cookies and chocolates and candy, I could use an entrée like this! How about you?
Watch my How To Video for Main Meal Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing here!
Call it Cowboy Caviar, Texas Caviar, even Redneck Caviar. You can bellow about Beluga all you want, but here in the Southwest, we love our caviar made with black beans, black eyed peas, roasted corn on the cob and a bunch of colorful and crunchy diced vegetables that make up the perfect salad, appetizer, dip or side dish! Cowboy Caviar is the perfect picnic or potluck recipe and you can spice it up as much as you want with more jalapenos and hot sauce! You can make it up the night before and let the tangy dressing settle into the veggies and spices! There are two additions to this Cowboy Caviar that give is a smooth, unique twist; diced avocado and sliced red seedless grapes. That burst of sweetness does a happy dance in the bowl with the spicy ingredients and vinaigrette dressing so your taste buds just want more and more. Grab a big bag of your favorite tortilla chips for dipping and dive right in!