Back in college I was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant. The best part about this place was that you could get good cheap food, bottomless bowls of free chips and giant $2 margaritas. What more could you want for dinner at 21 years old? They also had giant house salads for only $2.50. I remember my roommates coming to visit me while I was working. They would fill up on free chips and have a house salad with a margarita. For under five dollars, you had a great dinner.
I was one of the lucky ones that could get an employee meal. Of course, you were limited in what you could order. Steak, shrimp and chicken fajitas were off limits. So were the margaritas. Unless you could get a bartender to sneak you one after you were done work. But the thing I loved most was making our own salads. All the waiters and waitresses would try their hand in creating a new salad. I liked mine with everything but the kitchen sink in it. Believe it or not, I had not tried avocados until then. But the best creation was when someone decided to put rice in their salad.
For old times sake, I have to make an occasional salad with rice in it. It sounds somewhat strange but it really does taste good mixed in. Don’t shoot me but I also cover it with bottled red French dressing. Growing up, we only had oil and vinegar in our house so bottled dressing was a real treat. My college roommate and I would raid the salad dressings in the cafeteria trying two or three on a plate. The novelty wore off and I usually make my own dressings now. But it’s good to have some bottled dressing once in a while for old time’s sake.
But now I want everyone to try some leftover rice on their salad. Put this on a bed of crispy greens with avocados, corn, olives, cheese, green onions, tomatoes, roasted peppers, black beans, salsa or whatever you might have in your fridge or pantry. Then pour some creamy red dressing on it. I like to add some hot sauce or sprinkle with chili powder too. It is best to eat this salad with a margarita. Once you try rice in your Mexican salad you’ll never go back! Here is what was in my salad tonight. Enjoy!
Mexican Rice Salad
Chopped romaine lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Avocado, chopped
Rice Medley with black beans (from Trader Joe’s)
Roasted peppers, chopped
Catalina French dressing
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl reserving dressing to drizzle on last. Makes one good salad!