Sunday Meal Planning Series {Southwestern Chopped Salad}


Meal Planning


Our latest Sunday meal planning guest contribution comes from a local Scottsdale mom who has two young toddlers and looks to find healthy, but quick ways to feed her family.

Here are some of the reasons why she enjoys making this Southwestern Chopped Salad: I find it is very easy to make because most of the ingredients are already in your refrigerator, pantry or freezer. This salad is easy to prepare, scrumptious, filling and healthy. I let my kids help in the kitchen while I am making this salad by letting them wash the lettuce, draining the beans in the colander, and putting ingredients in the blender (unplugged) for dressing. It is a versatile recipe since you have an option of making a vegetarian version, vegan version and meat or poultry version (If you decide to add grilled chicken or crunchy bacon bits or a grilled meat patty). It is sweet, spicy, creamy and refreshing.

Ingredients for Salad

Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

Ingredients for Dressing

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
½ jalapeño (original version did not have it, I like my dressing spicy)

How to put it together

Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing.

Making the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

For more info on this recipe check out this link:


DarshanaDarshana Patel was born and brought up in India, moved to New York in her early twenties with her husband. While attended Westchester Community College and got her Associates in Visual Arts, and also attended New York University and got her Masters in Art Education. At New York University, She learned printmaking from Krishna Reddy. Her husband’s job opportunity brought them to phoenix where she taught art to school children. Darshana now lives in Scottsdale with her husband and two kids. She consideres herself mixed media arist., teaches art workshops,  she is artist in residences at Mesa Art Center for printmaking. She loves being outdoor and gets her inspiration from nature as well as everyday objects. She enjoys experimenting with food and enjoys cooking in her spare time









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