Several years ago I joined a weight loss program. I was relatively successful during the time I followed the program, but what I truly got out of the program was a different way to eat and look at food. During the program, I scoured cookbooks looking for recipes I could make on Sunday and portion up for the week ahead. I have about 4 recipes I still regularly make, well variations on them. The recipe below is one “salad” I make often. I eat it by itself and also use it as a dressing on top of a bed of lettuce.
One of the best dinners I made during my time on the diet program, was to take a large tortilla, lightly wet in and drape it over a large inverted Pyrex (oven safe) bowl, and bake in a 350°F preheated oven, for about 6-8 minutes (until tortilla is crisp) creating a tortilla “bowl”. I then heated a cast iron and “squished” the beans and added a little pico de gallo to the hot beans to create nice re-fried beans. I place a little “re-fried beans” in the bottom of the bowl. Place some chopped lettuce on top of the beans, then top with the Southwest pepper salad. This really was a quick and easy dinner, which impressed my friends.
Southwest Bell Pepper Salad
1/3 C olive oil
½ C white balsamic vinegar
2 T. dried oregano
½ t salt
½ t pepper
½ t ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 orange or yellow pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
½ large onion, diced (I used sweet, but red, yellow or white work fine)
1 can no salt added corn
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes (or 1 large fresh tomato, diced)
1 can black beans
6 oz shredded cheese ( I used Mexican blend)
Mix together dressing, set aside
Wash and dice all peppers, celery and onion. Drain corn, tomatoes and black beans, rinse.
Mix together ingredients and coat with dressing.