Southwest Fiesta Salad – by Kerri Santoro

Salad ingredients:

1 head Romaine Lettuce, torn or cut in bite size pieces
¼ quarter small red cabbage, thinly sliced (optional)
1 large Tomato, (Heirloom) diced
1 Red Sweet Onion, halved, then thinly sliced
1 to 2 ears of corn, raw and kernels removed from cob
1 red, yellow, orange or purple Bell Pepper, seeds removed, quartered then thinly sliced
1 ripe Avocado, sliced or diced
1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed or precooked from dried form (follow directions on package)
1 can sliced black olives
½ bunch cilantro, chopped without stems (reserve stems for dressing)
grated 2% cheddar cheese (about ¼  cup per salad)
blue corn tortilla chips, broken up or toast your own corn tortilla chips by baking them in the oven in thin strips -optional
4 grilled chicken breasts (optional) this is also good with grilled shrimp

Arrange salad ingredients beautifully onto each plate.  Serve with the healthy dressing below


Dressing ingredients:

A favorite salsa can be mixed with a low-fat sour cream, but I make mine from scratch.  This version is very low cal and only healthy sources of fat are used.
If more dressing is desired on each salad double this recipe.

4 to 6 T.  olive or avocado oil
2 to 4 T. fresh squeezed lime juice or lemon can be used
¼ cup raw pepitas
a handful of those cilantro stems
some of the finely chopped jalapeno
salt and pepper
Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender or combine all the ingredients finely chopped together and whisk together.  Drizzle and divide the dressing on each salad.  Serve