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Since the weather is so pretty, I’ll stick with good barbecue/picnic fare. Today I would like to share a recipe that has been a favorite with our friends and family.  As you can see from the photo, this is a visually beautiful dish and it’s SO delicious! I usually make and serve it in a glass bowl, so I can show off the colorful layers. I also like that there is nothing in this that is incredibly perishable, so it can sit out a little longer than some dishes, which makes it great for entertaining and potlucks. And last but not least, I love the salad because it is low calorie and low fat!

Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the recipe. I have to give that to Weight Watchers. This recipe is in their Winner’s Circle cookbook. I have to give Weight Watchers kudos on their recipes! I can’t recommend their cookbooks enough! If you’re trying to cook healthy, delicious foods, you will find wonderful recipes in their cookbooks. I have found that after cooking their recipes for years, I have learned numerous tricks that have helped to make my cooking lighter overall. I will share more of these tips and tricks in the future! If you’re looking to buy Weight Watcher cookbooks, there are a number of them available at Amazon.com. You can buy them both new and used.

Southwestern Layered Salad

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup prepared tomato salsa

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 (15 1/4 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained or equal amount of thawed frozen corn

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (I actually always use red bell pepper as I think green has an overpowering taste, but this is up to you)

1 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat or fat free)

1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed

2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup fat free Italian Dressing (I’ve also been known to use my homemade balsamic vinaigrette)

1. Combine the beans, salsa and 2 tbsp. of the cilantro in a small bowl. Layer the various ingredients in the bowl in this order: bean mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion and cheese.

2. Just before serving arrange the avocado on top. Sprinkle with bacon and remaining cilantro. Drizzle salad with dressing.

My 2 cents: I sometimes change up the order of the layers to make sure the colors vary for aesthetic purposes. I also drizzle some of the dressing half way through the layering process, so it can reach all the ingredients. Also, if you don’t feel like layering it, you can just toss all the ingredients together. I did this the last time I made it. It’s still gorgeous and just as delicious! Enjoy!

This makes 8 servings with 166 calories, 6 g of fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 396 mg sodium, 23g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein.