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During my undergrad years, my roommate taught me how to cook vegetarian dishes like brown rice with pintos. It's so versatile; you can turn it into a wrap or casserole. —Natalie Van Apeldoorn, Vancouver, BC
From Suzanne McKinley of Lyons, Georgia comes this fresh-tasting medley of veggies tossed with a zesty oil-and-vinegar dressing. Serve the salad alone as a side dish or pair it with tortilla chips for an appetizer.
Leah Lyon of Ada, Oklahoma often rounds out a meal with Southwest Iceberg Slaw. "It's a cool, light and versatile side dish I created one day when I was trying to stretch my avocados," she says. "And friends rave about it no matter what vegetables I add!“
TASTY TIP: Try substituting other fresh garden vegetables in this salad or adding low-fat Mexican panela cheese for a light lunch entree, suggests Leah.
My father-in-law's recipe, this salad is both pretty and packed with protein. It's also convenient since it uses a variety of canned beans. It's more flavorful when prepared the night before.—Christi Gillentine, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Baby spinach, mandarin oranges and avocado are teamed in this refreshing springtime salad from Margaret O'Bryon of Bel Air, Maryland. You can also substitute fresh orange slices for the mandarin oranges.
Cilantro comes through in this colorful side that's zesty but not too spicy. It also makes a great luncheon dish when served with sesame breadsticks, sherbet and sugar cookies. It's sure to satisfy!
—Tommi Roylance of Charlo, Montana
In North Richland Hills, Texas, Virginia Stencel mixes chicken, beans and corn with fresh jicama for a fun change of pace. The medley’s coated in a flavorful barbecue-ranch dressing with crunchy tortilla strips on top.
You get an explosion of Southwestern flavor in every bite of this deliciously different salad. It's a favorite for kids of all ages since it mixes beans and cheese, tasty vegetables and crisp corn chips.
—Jerri Moror, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
"When I want a light yet hearty meal, I fix this refreshing main-dish salad," says Bonnie Wittekind of Higley, Arizona. "My husband loves the beef and the zippy flavor. As a busy mom, I appreciate that it doesn't take long to put this entree on the table.