Easy Summer Dish: Beans and Corn Chip Salad
Every summer I look forward to the hot weather. Swimming, biking, baseball games, family vacations....all the summer fun in those hot and hazy months.
But with summer comes things I don't look forward too such as higher cooling bills and cooking over a hot stove when I'm already too hot from being outside.
One way to beat the summer heat is to plan some delcious, COLD, summer meals that require minimal preparation and maximum enjoyment. I have found that this corn chip salad is a hit. My two kids ask for it and, in the summer and hotter months; we often eat it a couple of times a week.
It's easy, inexpensive, and tasty. What's not to love?
- One Head Lettuce, You can choose any kind of lettuce that your family enjoys. Washed/bagged salads are easy.
- Two to Four Cups Cheese (grated), We like extra sharp cheddar.
- One Bag Corn Chips
- One to Two Cans Chili Beans, We like Bush's brand beans. You can often find mild, medium, or hot. Depending on taste.
- One Bunch Green Onions, You can also chop up regular/purple onions if you prefer
- One to Two Tomatoes, Or get the small, cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy fix.
- One Bottle Creamy Italian Salad Dressing, You can try other flavors but the dressing should be creamy for maximum tastiness.
- Lay out the number of plates that you will be using and divide the lettuce, chopped or shredded, onto each plate.
- Open the can of beans and spoon the desired amount of beans on each lettuce bed. Spoon out both the beans and the juice as this adds extra flavor.
- Chop the onion to the desired size and sprinkle on top of the beans.
- Chop and add tomatoes.
- Add desired amount of shredded cheese. About 1/2 cup per salad.
- Add about 3/4 a cup of corn chips to the salad.
- Pour dressing around the outer edge of the salad.
- Mix everything together on the plate and serve immediately.
Other Ideas and Tips
Tip: You can make a big bowl of taco salad and serve it this way. However, don't add the corn chips, beans, or dressing until right before you serve it. Otherwise the salad will get soggy.
Sometimes we enjoy this hearty salad as our meal. Other times we enjoy pairing it with something cooked from the grill. (You still don't have to heat up your house! An added bonus)
Try it as a side to a hamburger or hot dog. Or even better, barbecue some chicken breasts and then dice up the chicken and add it to the salad.
The salad is versatile and easy and has been a favorite of my family since I was a child. I hope to continue the tradition with my own children.
What I like about this salad, too, is that it's versatile. Everyone can make it to their taste. My youngest child likes lots of tomatoes so he piles those on. He doesn't care for onions so he doesn't add those.
I like the mild chili beans; my husband likes the spicy ones.
Add a few corn chips or add a lot. Grate a small amount of cheese or pile it on.
If you want to cut some calories you can use less dressing and add more of the bean juice from the chili beans themselves.
Perfect For Everyone
Salads are something you can enjoy year round. But they are especially popular in the summer months when you crave something cool and refreshing.
I know that I personally get kind of tired of the same old salad, crouton, dressing routine. This salad gives me options and fills me up. And I find that because I can make it different ways on different days, I don't get tired of it as quickly.
So the next time you plan to have a summer get-together or your are just hanging out with the family, why not serve this easy salad.
For meat-eaters it can easily be a side dish. For the vegetarians in your group, it's a filling and delicious main dish.
© 2015 L C David