Black Bean Summer Salad

Serves 8.

Note: From "Southern Holidays: A Savor the South Cookbook," by Debbie Moose.

• 2 c. corn kernels (fresh or cooked) or thawed, frozen corn

• 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and well-drained

• 5 or 6 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

• 1 large sweet banana pepper, seeded and chopped

• 1 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes

• 6 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

• 2 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• Salt and black pepper to taste

• 1/3 c. chopped cilantro leaves

Directions

If you're using frozen corn, rinse it under cold water to thaw it, drain it well, then sauté lightly in a skillet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil to remove excess moisture.

Combine the corn with the black beans, green onions, banana pepper and cherry tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Stir in the cilantro, or take it along in a small plastic bag and add it right before serving. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 240 Fat 11 g Sodium 280 mg

Carbohydrates 29 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 10 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 2 fat.

AVOCADO CREMA SLAW

Serves 6.

Note: Adapted from "Fast to the Table Freezer Cookbook," by Becky Rosenthal. You'll have extra avocado crema, but it makes a great dip with tortilla chips.

• 1 ripe avocado, pitted, sliced and peeled

• 1/2 c. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 to 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 1/2 c. tri-color coleslaw mix (or 1/2 c. each shredded red and green cabbage and carrot)

Directions

Place the avocado, sour cream or yogurt, cumin, salt and lime juice in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Combine the coleslaw mix with about 1/2 cup of the avocado blend and mix well. Cover well and chill until ready to use.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 45 Fat 4 g Sodium 115 mg

Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 fat.

LAYERED CAPRESE PASTA SALAD

Serves 2 to 4.

Note: Adapted from health.com. This travels well, and you can make it into a main dish by adding cooked chicken or sliced hard-cooked egg.

• 1/2 c. orzo pasta

• 3 tbsp. pitted kalamata olives, sliced

• 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil, divided

• 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• Salt and pepper

• 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

• 3 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut in bite-size pieces (about 1/2 c.)

• 1 tbsp. minced shallot

• 2 c. fresh arugula, stemmed and lightly chopped

Directions

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil and add the orzo. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then drain well again. Place in a small bowl and add the olives, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons oil until combined. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, 2 tablespoons basil and shallot and toss to coat.

Place half the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart jar with a lid. Top with half the orzo and some of the arugula. Continue layering with the rest of the tomatoes, then the orzo and the rest of the arugula. Scrape in any extra dressing on top. Cover and chill for up to 2 days before serving.

Nutrition information per each of 2 servings:

Calories 250 Fat 15 g Sodium 670 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 starch, ½ high-fat protein, 2 fat.