Growing up, one of my favorite things to have for dinner was my Mom's Mexican Salad. I would sometimes request this for my birthday dinner, it's that good. And with beans and rice and all sorts of things in it, it makes a complete meal on its own. Or, sometimes we used to have it with warm, buttered corn tortillas on the side.
A couple of days ago I started thinking that Mom's Mexican Salad sounded really good, even though it's winter and salads are summery and whatever. So I made up the rice/beans/cheese mixture, and I've been throwing some of that together with fresh lettuce and tomato etc. every day for four days now, and sometimes twice a day.
It's so good, I thought I'd share the recipe. This is my Mom's basic recipe, but I think she often tweaked it a little. I know when I make it I don't measure anything exactly, and I use more spices than called for. It always turns out good.
Mom's Mexican Salad
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t paprika
1/8 t coriander
1 1/2 c. kidney beans (or pinto, or some of each, which is what I always do)
2/3 c. grated cheddar
sliced black olives (unless you're an olive hater, as some people are)
Combine all of those ingredients.
(And if you're making it for a family, you might want to double it.)
Then, add the rice and bean mixture to regular salad stuff and toss it all together.
Mine usually has:
a mixture of romaine and red leaf lettuces
and sometimes fresh corn cut right off the cob in the summertime
peppers and cucumbers are good, too
and the original recipe calls for minced onion
(I don't think my Mom used onion, but I'm sure it would be good)
Then for the dressing I use whatever dressing I have in the fridge mixed with salsa. Something vinaigretty, or garlicky, or cheesy works great.
And over the top, crush some tortilla chips.
Mmm. Just like I remember it.
Well, almost like I remember it.
Not quite as good, to be honest with you.
Because everyone knows food just tastes better when your Mom makes it for you.