MAY IT PLEASE THE PALATE: Salad season is here

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Yes, salads are year-round staples, but when the weather turns warm, they take on a more prominent position on menus.

Whether it’s a quick side for the weeknight family dinner or a picnic or potluck, this Southwestern Bean & Quinoa combination is a delicious, good-for-you choice that’s as easy as 1-2-3.

First cook up some quinoa; it’s simple and will be ready in about 15 minutes.

While it cooks, chop and slice the vegetables and whisk up the cilantro-lime dressing.

Next comes READ Southwestern Bean Salad, the secret ingredient that adds great flavor and saves tons of time in the kitchen.

Combine the zesty Tex-Mex seasoned mixture of black beans, kidney beans, corn and hominy with the quinoa and veggies, add the aromatic dressing, toss and go.  

Serve it as a meatless main dish, or to accompany grilling favorites like chicken or pork. It’s versatile, too.

Easily double the recipe for a large gathering, or, change up the vegetables for other favorites that are in-season or on-hand in the fridge. Try sliced radishes, celery, zucchini, cucumber, green onion, green peas or cut green beans.

Visit www.ReadSalads.com  for additional recipes and serving suggestions.

Southwestern Bean & Quinoa Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:
1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
1/2 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped tomatillos
1/2 cup thin bell pepper strips
2 cups cooked quinoa

DRESSING:
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon shredded lime peel
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
Drain bean salad. Discard liquid or save for another use.

In large bowl, combine bean salad, tomatoes, tomatillos and bell pepper.

For dressing, whisk together oil, lime juice, peel and cayenne. Stir in cilantro. Toss with quinoa. Add to bean salad mixture; toss lightly to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 10 g fat; 8 g protein; 35 g carbohydrate; 7 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 8.98 mg iron; 210 mg sodium; 0.12 mg thiamin; 781.13 IU vitamin A; 20.44 mg vitamin C.
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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation.
He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor.
He occasionally updates his blog at http://mayitpleasethepalate.blogspot.com/.

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