Saturday, September 26, 2009

Southwest Rice and Bean Salad

I had something specific in mind for dinner last night, but I came across this recipe mid-afternoon and decided I had to try it.

It went together really easily. I would probably use less rice in the future, though. Five cups is a lot, even when you're mixing lots of other stuff in. I wanted to use brown rice, but we were out of it. It would probably be even yummier with brown vs. white rice.

I made a few modifications from the original recipe, based on what I had at home already. Overall, it was really yummy, did well as leftovers, and got about 4.5 stars. I really really liked it, but my husband said only 4 stars -- it would be 5 if it didn't have the rice, he said (he doesn't like rice).

A couple of quick notes: the salad comes out tasting surprisingly sweet, due to the brown sugar in the dressing. It's really different, and yummy. Also, the chicken breasts I had in the freezer were the flat single-serving cutlet-style breasts, not full sized ones. Two wasn't enough. If that's the kind you have, go with three or four.

5 cups cooked rice, warm or at room temperature
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 can corn, drained
4 green onions, chopped (I didn't have green onions, so I used about 1/4 cup chopped red onion)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
4 pickled jalepeƱo pepper rounds (I used about 2/3 of a can of diced green chilies instead)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in blender until peppers are finely minced. Toss with salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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