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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple Southwest-style recipes

Bright orange slices, roasted chiles, romaine, radishes and

Bright orange slices, roasted chiles, romaine, radishes and avocado make a refreshing and unusual salad. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

ROASTED CHILI, ORANGE AND AVOCADO SALAD

3 Anaheim or poblano chili peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and stems discarded

2 oranges, cut across and into 1/4-inch-thick slices

4 large radishes, thinly sliced

2 romaine lettuce hearts, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 12 cups)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium avocado, sliced

1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Place the peppers, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Broil the peppers 4 to 5 inches from the heat source until the skins are blackened, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan as needed. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let stand 15 minutes. Use your fingers to rub the charred skin off the peppers. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and transfer to a bowl. Add the oranges, radishes and romaine.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, zest, chili powder, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until well combined. Pour all but 2 teaspoons of the dressing over the salad and toss well.

4. Arrange the avocado slices on the salad and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 249 calories, 4 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 18 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 316 mg sodium

TIP: Anaheim chiles tend to be milder than poblanos— but like any chile, they are variable in heat.

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CHICKEN-AND-CHEDDAR QUESADILLA

1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast or chicken tenders

1/2 cup thawed frozen corn kernels

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar

1/2 cup chunky mild salsa

1. Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch-wide strips and toss with the corn, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the chicken mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Allow the skillet to cool and wipe it out.

4. Build the quesadillas: top half of each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese; add one-quarter of the chicken mixture and spoon 2 tablespoons of the salsa over the chicken. Sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons cheese and fold the tortilla closed, pressing down lightly with your hand to flatten.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over medium. Add 2 quesadillas and cook (pressing the top lightly with a spatula if needed to keep the tortilla closed) until the undersides are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the quesadillas over and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 filled quesadillas. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 451 calories, 37 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 22 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 908 mg sodium

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SHRIMP-AND-BEAN BURRITO BOWL

1 cup long-grain white rice (or quick-cooking brown rice)

1 pound peeled shrimp

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cups shredded cabbage

3/4 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar, divided

1/2 avocado, diced

1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. Combine the shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, smoked paprika and garlic and toss well.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add about half the shrimp in a single, uncrowded layer and cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes; turn and cook until no longer translucent, another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the beans, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, chipotle chili powder, cherry tomatoes, onion and lime juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes until heated through. Toss with the cabbage.

5. Toss the rice with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar and spoon into 4 bowls. Top the rice with the cabbage-bean mixture, shrimp and avocado slices. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 525 calories, 32 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 403 mg sodium

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