Keep it Cool II: Southwestern Chopped Salad

Cool, crisp, and flavorful! That’s what I look for in summer recipes, and this Southwestern Chopped Salad has it all. Feel free to improvise on the basic ingredient list and add extra veggies. They can only enhance the mix!

The cilantro lime dressing is a keeper for sure, and it can be repurposed for wraps or raw veggie dip. Come along with me this month for my Keep it Cool series and try four fabulous main dish salads you can remake all summer!


  • Large head of romaine
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper (I like to chop mini sweet peppers for a variety of color)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (fresh roasted, blanched or thawed from the freezer)
  • 5 green onions


  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or ½ cup of soaked cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (or green onions or shallots)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (I use Braggs apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Season with honey and cumin to taste


  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired amount of dressing.


Adapted from the Garden Grazer