Nutrition, Fitness, & Weight Loss in Colorado Springs

Favorite Recipe: Taco Salad with Kidney Beans, Latino Vegetables, and Salsa

Winter has been particularly cold and snowy this year.  After indulging in a number of traditional winter comfort foods, such as chili, mac and cheese, or spaghetti, I’m ready to look forward to springtime and eating more fresh produce.  However, it doesn’t need to be spring to enjoy a great salad so I thought that I would share my favorite easy-fix “taco salad.”

The key to this salad is the cooked kidney bean and vegetable mixture.  A few years ago in the frozen food section, I discovered Hanover Latino Blend Vegetables (16 oz. bag) which includes corn, black beans, onions, green peppers, and red peppers.  This combination of vegetables is perfect for a taco salad.  Also, cooking/frying the kidney beans in salt and pepper changes the flavor in a way that compliments the salad.

The following recipe usually feeds 3 people in our household.  The kidney beans are high in fiber.  The romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and mixed vegetables are low in calories.  The cumin enhances the mexican flavor, as does the salsa and cheddar jack cheese.  The optional honey french dressing adds a little sweetness to accompany the salty of the kidney beans.

1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, drained
1/2 bag (8 oz.) frozen Hanover Latino Blend Vegetables
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup cheddar jack cheese, finely shredded
6 tbsp. chunky salsa
Low-fat honey french salad dressing, optional

On the stovetop:
Heat kidney beans in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with salt and pepper. Cook beans until the skin becomes slightly crisp, stirring frequently.

Add 1/2 bag frozen latino blend vegetables and cumin powder to the pan of cooked kidney beans. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Stir until vegetables are heated thoroughly. Remove from heat.

For each salad, making 3 servings:
Combine 1/3 of the chopped lettuce and tomatoes on each dinner plate.  
Add 1/3 of the cooked bean and vegetable mixture to each salad.  
Spread 1/3 cup of shredded cheese over warm beans and vegetables.
Add 2 tbsp. Chunky salsa.  
Drizzle with honey french salad dressing, if you like.

Enjoy for a quick, light and nutritious meal.

What are your favorite tasty, easy-to-prepare foods or recipes?