MC Savage from Baltimore said she is trying to find ways to get more nutrient-packed beans in her diet and was hoping for a recipe for a three-bean salad that was a little bit different from the classic versions that most commonly have a dressing made with vinegar, oil and sugar.

Debbie Sullivan, also from Baltimore, shared a recipe for a Mexican-style bean salad that she thought Savage would enjoy. Her recipe includes chicken or turkey but she said it is equally good made without it.

What's nice about this dish is that it comes together in minutes and is extremely adaptable. Also, it uses salsa as the dressing in place of the traditional vinaigrette, which gives the dish a nice little kick. Omit the chicken or turkey, and you have a protein-packed vegetarian dish full of flavor that can be served as either a main dish or a side salad.

Sullivan said she has served the dish in a glass trifle bowl and the multicolored beans made for a very attractive presentation. The salad travels and keeps well and is an ideal dish for a potluck or picnic.

Requests

Roseanne Glick of Mount Washington would like to have the recipe for the tasty and unusual appetizer she sampled at a recent potluck cocktail party. She thinks it may have been a water chestnut wrapped in bacon with some kind of a honey barbecue sauce coating. She said the one-bite morsels were the perfect combination of sweet, savory and crunchy, and they were the hit of the party.

Winnie Borden from Baltimore would like to have the recipe for the black bean soup served at Tio Pepe's restaurant in downtown Baltimore. She said she loves it and has never found a recipe that is as good as the one served at the restaurant.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email baltsunrecipefinder@gmail.com. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Mexicali cheddar bean salad

Makes 6 servings as main course, or 8 as side salad

1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 16-ounce can navy or great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped (optional)

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1 small red or yellow pepper, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup chunky salsa (mild, medium or hot, depending on your preference)

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

Lettuce leaves

Rinse and drain the canned beans. Toss together all the ingredients, except the lettuce leaves. Chill. Serve on lettuce-lined plates.