My mother, Nena, grew up in Cuba and learned many styles of cooking. She had a knack for making something incredibly simple taste incredibly amazing. This salad is proof. By itself, the dressing is really tart, but add the avocados and onions and it's the perfect complement. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California
“My love for Southwestern flavors led me to create this party-perfect dish. I’ve been experimenting with smoked paprika for a while and discovered that it’s an ideal addition to this recipe.”—Kelly Faust, Louisville, Kentucky
“I started with a basic bean, rice and onion medley and added veggies and a lighter dressing to make it healthier. You can substitute brown rice for the long grain if you like.”
—Kim Cook, Dade City, Florida
“I was making a Mexican themed dinner one night last summer, and figured I’d make a salad with the fresh produce I had. I threw in anything that reminded me of Mexican food. Thankfully, it turned out, and the combination of salsa and ranch dressing is one we now use on sandwiches burgers and more, “ writes Heather Byers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I created this main-dish salad to satisfy our family's love of shrimp. It has lots of contrasting textures, including firm taco-seasoned shrimp, crispy tortilla strips and hearty black beans. A convenient bag of salad greens cuts down on prep time, so I can have this meal ready in half an hour.
-Ellen Morrell, Hazleton, Pennsylvania
My daughter gave me the recipe for this hearty, zippy salad. I've used it many times and received compliments. When it comes to bean salad, most people think of the sweet three-bean variety, so this is a nice surprise.
- Lila Jean Allen, Portland, Oregon