Layered Southwestern Rice Salad

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Layered Southwestern Rice Salad 
makes 6-8 servings
2 C white or brown rice
taco seasonings (you can use your own mix here if you’d like)
2 chicken breasts, cooked/grilled/breaded (whatever you have available – we used leftovers), diced
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can corn, drained
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced and seasoned with salt & pepper
avocado, diced and tossed in 1 t lime juice
chopped cilantro
1. Place 2 cups rice, 4 cups of water, and 1-2 T taco seasoning in a rice cooker and cook according to directions from manufacturer. Let cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl/trifle, layer seasoned rice, chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
*We actually loved this without dressing, but if you did, you could easily add some kind of buttermilk-based dressing.

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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