Lately I haven’t had much time or energy to make dinner.

We’ve been working toward a new look for the Herald, which you’ll see starting Sunday, and it’s meant a lot of long hours at the office.

When I get home, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour in the kitchen. But since I also don’t want to eat out every night, I’ve turned to some quick recipes I used to use in college.

One of my favorites this week has been a southwestern salad. It’s great for two reasons: It’s packed with flavors I love and uses ingredients I always keep stocked at home, which means no shopping required and I’ll have a meal I’ll enjoy in about 20 minutes.

I’ve been eating the salad for dinner, but it also works great for lunch. The dressing makes enough for three or four servings and keeps in the refrigerator for about three days.

If you want a heartier salad, add some grilled chicken strips to it. The added protein boosts energy, something I certainly need more of these days.

Southwestern salad

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 1

  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ¾ cup packed fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cup black beans, canned (rinsed) or cooked
  • ½ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes


  1. Place avocado, cilantro, yogurt, scallions, garlic, lime juice, sugar and salt in a blender; blend until smooth.
  2. Place greens in an individual salad bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. (Refrigerate the remaining dressing.) Top the greens with black beans, corn and tomatoes.

Nutrition per serving: 235 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat , 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 13 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 1325 mg potassium.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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