Ooooh, it’s been a minute since I posted a new recipe! I have been a little preoccupied with finishing up my latest bootcamp, Meal Planning and Meal Prep. I absolutely love this course and if you missed out on participating, fear not. I will repeat it in August at the latest. In May, I will be repeating my Entertaining with Ease bootcamp and Plant Based 2.0 (the more advanced plant-based course.) If you subscribe to my website, you will hear about sign-ups first!
In the meantime, Cinco de Mayo is coming up and I think we need to party! I am obsessed with Mexican and Tex-Mex flavors and I love playing around with them. I am also obsessed with vegetables and Mexican meals in restaurants tend to be a little light on the veggies. I always include a great salad in every Mexican class I teach and they have always been among my most popular recipes.
This salad can be a hundred different combinations of ingredients, so don’t get fixated on those components. You can do whatever you want and go in a more obvious direction with pinto beans and corn and avocado and tomatoes or take last night’s basic leftovers and put them over greens. It’s all about the dressing!!! Am I right???
There’s a crazy-delicious salad at a local chain in my area called Mendocino Farms. It’s called the Avocado and Quinoa Superfood Ensalada. It has romaine lettuce, kale, quinoa & millet, crunchy quinoa, succotash with roasted corn, black beans & jicama, red onions, cilantro, cotija cheese, grape tomatoes, and avocado plus a chipotle vinaigrette. I love it love it love it. But again, it’s all about the dressing which is spicy, smoky, a touch sweet and has the perfect acidity. It’s dreamy with creamy avocado, that’s for sure. So of course, I went back to my laboratory (e.g. my kitchen) and did my best to recreate this dressing.
I highly recommend adding a big platter of vegetables to your next Mexican fiesta, whether it’s grilled or roasted veggies with a drizzle of this vinaigrette, or any number of my salads, or even my Mexican greens. You can also add any protein to this to make it a complete meal. Think cooked beans, crispy tofu, cooked chicken, shrimp or salmon. Add some crunchy tortilla strips if not would encourage little ones to try. This dressing is a little spicy, so check out the notes in the recipe for how to keep the smokiness without the heat. And of course, if you make it, I would love to see it! So please tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman on Instagram!
You can shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below:
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup unrefined cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- ¾ teaspoon chipotle powder (can swap in some smoked paprika for less heat)
- ½ teaspoon + ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 head green leaf or Romaine lettuce, leaves chopped
- 4 cups of other suggested salad ingredients such as:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chopped jicama
- Chopped or sliced avocado (I highly recommend adding avocado)
- Pickled onions (or raw if you like)
- Diced cucumber
- Grilled veggies like zucchini, peppers, corn or asparagus
- Cooked chicken, shrimp, or salmon (steak fine, too)
- In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and shake until combined. Set aside.
- Add salad greens to a large serving bowl and add desired prepared ingredients.
- Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Be careful with avocado. You may want to add that after the salad is tossed.