$5 30-Minutes Meals – Southwestern Salad

One of the benefits of eating a colorful diet is that it ensures you get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. As a general rule of thumb, the more colorful the food is, the more nutrients it has. In this installment of $5 meals in 30 minutes or less, we build a Southwestern Salad using a variety of colorful vegetables.

Southwestern Salad’s Cast of Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 medium bell pepper – $1.00
  • 1 cup black beans – $0.25
  • 1 cup yellow corn – $0.25
  • 2 small cucumbers – $0.75
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes – $0.75
  • 4 cups salad greens of choice – $1.99
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 2 green onions (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

Total: $5.00

Step 1 – Prep and Chop Veggies

The veggies in this salad each serve their own purpose. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and spinach has iron. When combined, the vitamin C enhances your body’s absorption of iron. Tomatoes have lycopene, an antioxidant that has numerous health benefits, and cucumbers add extra fiber.

Step 2 – Drain and Rinse

Black beans provide an excellent source of protein, and corn provides extra carbohydrates to help keep you full and satisfied.

Also, did you know that rinsing canned beans and veggies can remove up to 40% of the added sodium?

Step 3 – Assemble and Serve

Dress with lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. Garnish with chopped avocado and green onion, if desired. This salad is loaded with fiber, a 1 1/2 cup serving provides almost 40% of your daily recommended fiber intake. It also has 96% of the daily recommended vitamin A intake and 110% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake.

Nutrition Facts

Per 1 1/2 cup serving (without dressing):

  • Calories: 238
  • Total fat: 1.4g
  • Sodium: 54mg
  • Carbs: 46.3g
  • Fiber: 11.2g
  • Sugar: 6.8g
  • Protein: 13.9g
  • Vitamin A: 96%
  • Vitamin C: 110%
  • Calcium: 10%
  • Iron: 36%

Bobby is the community and social media manager at Zipongo. He has a degree in nutrition and dietetics and previously worked as a health educator.

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