Salad Days

Don'’t feel like cooking? Don'’t sweat it! This hearty, Southwestern-style salad can be made in minutes.


No single food can provide all the extra nutrients you need when you're pregnant, but a combination of foods (plus some key supplementation) can.

Take our hearty-but-light black bean salad, for example. It has all the right stuff for a cool summer supper: beans for protein, iron and folic acid; tomato and avocado to bolster your beta-carotene supply; and reduced-fat cheese for a calcium boost.

Making a nutritionally balanced meal is simple: Just cut up a few vegetables, open a couple of cans, toss it all together, and dinner is served...pronto!

Black Bean Salad With Avocado and Cheese Serves 4 ¼ cup nonfat sour cream 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large or two small limes) 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste 2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped 1 19-ounce can black beans, drained 1 11-ounce can corn kernels, drained 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and diced ½ avocado, chopped ½ cup red onion, finely chopped 8 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend or other low-fat cheese

Stir together sour cream, fresh lime juice, cilantro and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, cucumber, avocado and onion. Toss gently to coat.

Spoon salad onto lettuce leaves arranged on four individual plates. Sprinkle each salad with ¼ cup cheese and accompany with baked tortilla chips, if you like.

If you're not serving the salad right away, prepare without avocado, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to six hours. Remove the dish from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving, then add the avocado and serve as instructed.

Nutrition information per serving (about 1½ cups): 322 calories, 29 percent fat (10.5 grams), 47 percent carbohydrate, 24 percent protein, 225 micrograms vitamin A (145 micrograms as beta-carotene), 253 milligrams calcium, 3 milligrams iron, 2 milligrams zinc, 236 micrograms folic acid.