I recently attended a convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. It's pretty plush, with it's 9 acres of indoor gardens and all; and the convention was swell. But my best off-topic takeaway was Wednesday's lunch salad. The lunch had a southwestern theme from mexican rice with chayote squash to cilantro basted chicken enchiladas. Also of note was their ability to feed well over 1,000 people almost instantly -- they had about 6 double sided buffet lines plus separate areas for soup and dessert. One more aside before we get back to the salad: another neat idea was tented placards placed on the round 10-seater lunch tables indicating a sub-area of conventioneers that should congregate at that table. If you paid attention to them you ended up sitting with other folks that you might not know but that you had something pretty specific in common with; not exactly Dave Winer's "unconference", but a good chance for ad hoc networking.
Remembering the Southwest theme and keeping an open mind, here's the salad, which I found surprisingly pleasing. I'm guessing at the proportions -- I made a batch yesterday and it came out pretty good:
10 parts julienned jicama (about 1 medium jicama)
3 parts tomatoes, sliced and quartered (about 2 medium tomatoes)
1 part sweet onion strips (1/3 of a medium Vidalia onion)
1 part mixed pepper pieces (canned chilis, jalepeno rings, green pepper strips)
Add oil and vinegar dressing, chill and marinate.
Pretty good, pretty healthy.