Friday, May 2, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Mexican Chopped Salad

From Pamela Salzman

Cinco de Mayo is next Monday, and I thought I would put together a menu (which I will post on Monday) that is easy and quick to celebrate the day.  For the salad course, I found a recipe for Mexican Chopped Salad that is a delight for the eyes as well as the taste buds, and simply requires a little chopping and whisking together of a few ingredients for a dressing.  The only big change I made was the substitution of a large yellow bell pepper for two cucumbers, since I am not fond of the latter.  I also slightly decreased the cumin and greatly decreased the amount of salt in the dressing.  If you want a lighter side salad you can leave out the beans, although a little extra plant protein is not a bad idea.  You could even add chicken or shrimp instead of or in addition to the beans for a heartier main dish salad.  However you decide to prepare it, eating this salad will most certainly ensure a happy and healthy Cinco de Mayo!

Mexican Chopped Salad

3 T. orange juice
3 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1 T. honey
1/2 C. olive oil
1 head butter or romaine lettuce, chopped (about 8 C.)
2 C. chopped red cabbage
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 C. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced
1/2 C. roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

For the dressing, whisk together the first six ingredients in a small bowl,  Add the olive oil slowly, whisking constantly, until completely emulsified.  Check for seasonings, then set aside.

Combine the lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl.  Add the beans, diced pepper, and tomatoes.  Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat.  Drizzle a little dressing onto the diced avocado and gently mix into the salad.  Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.  Serves 6.

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