Amy’s Texas Caviar

I first tried this Texas caviar at my friend Amy’s house, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. I have tried other Texas caviars through the years, but none of them ever impressed me all that much. However, this one has the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness, plus the smoothness of avocado. Don’t be overly concerned about the cup of sugar; the marinade is drained before serving, so most of it is not consumed.

My friends who ate this tonight gave it high praise, so I’m not the only one smitten with Amy’s Texas caviar. I followed Amy’s lead and served it with Fritos Scoops. I am quite sure we can find healthier delivery systems if we tried, but the salty Fritos really are a lovely compliment.


1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 can black eyed peas, rinsed well

1 can shoepeg corn, rinsed well

1 can pinto beans, rinsed well

1 jar red pimentos, rinsed well

1/2 diced green pepper

1/2 diced red onion

1 avocado, diced



1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Mix first 3 ingredients in a saucepan to make marinade. Bring to a boil and let cool.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl except for avocado, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour marinade over this at least 2 hours before serving. Drain just before serving. Add diced avocado, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

Wegmans Red Quinoa Avocado Salad

I love quinoa. It’s fun to eat, and it’s fun to say. (And just in case you’re unsure, it’s pronounced KEEN-wah). Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa! Quinoa is one amazing little grain. Technically it’s a chenopod. One important thing to know about quinoa, aside from its deliciousness and versatility, is that it’s very healthy and a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Another important thing to know is that you shouldn’t eat all ten servings of this by yourself, even if you want to. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Wegmans is my grocery store of choice. This recipe first appeared in the Wegmans Winter 2011 Menu magazine, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Not only is it healthy and delicious, it’s also beautiful (or “aesthetically pleasing,” as our friends at Project Runway would say). It is the perfect summer salad and quite the crowd pleaser.

I feel the same way about salad dressing as I do about frosting: Always make your own! It’s super easy and so much healthier. So while you can certainly buy the Wegmans brand lemon vinaigrette, I am also including my own lemon vinaigrette recipe below for you to try.


1 pkg (7 oz) Red Quinoa, cooked per pkg directions, chilled
1 pkg (12 oz) Frozen Super-Sweet Corn, thawed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the bias (I used a red onion since it’s all I had on hand)
2 plum tomatoes, 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup). Ed likes extra tomatoes.
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, cubed small
1/2 cup Food You Feel Good About Lemon Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Add cooked quinoa, corn, cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes to mixing bowl. Fold in avocados and dressing; mix until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper; serve.


Dawn’s Lemon Vinaigrette

Whisk together:
Juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. maple syrup