Bean, Gouda and Mandarin Salad

 I originally had this recipe destined for my summer salads category, but I was just thinking that the colors would make for an amazing Halloween Salad!!

Summers are all about picnics and get-togethers, OKAY... HALLOWEEN TOO!! but it is so easy to make simple little mistakes that can cause your guests to get sick and you really don't want people to remember your summer barbecue as the time they left and spent the night feeling ill. So, I'm going to give you my favorite recipe with a few little reminders so that your guests remember their time spent with you... with fond memories.


Bean, Gouda and Mandarin Salad

1 19 oz can of black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked, brown rice
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 cup gouda sliced (okay I add more)
1/2 cup onion and celery, finely chopped
2 T cilantro, finely chopped

1. Drizzle with olive oil and then stir all to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and you are done. Okay, I usually sprinkle the top of the salad with sunflower seeds
4. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds

Things Not To Do

1. Be sure that you are aware of any allergies that your friends might have.

2. Keep food inside until the very last minute so that you don't have to fight with insects or the heat.

3. Be sure you know exactly how many people will be attending and how many chairs you will need.

4. Have sun block just in case someone forgot to apply theirs... Men do this all the time. You won't have to say a word, just leave it sitting in the bathroom where they can see it.

5. Keep your own hands clean. While preparing the food, you will probably touch about a zillion different surfaces. Be sure to wash your hands often!

6. If you are offering fresh fruit and veggies, be sure to also wash them thoroughly. You have no idea how many people at the supermarket have handled the same item before you purchased it.

7. It might be a good idea to serve the food inside... buffet style and then let your friends take their plates outside to the picnic area!

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