Wednesday, May 1, 2013
My cilantro vinaigrette and TVP taco filling meet up when today’s big salad for dinner gets Tex-Mex treatment. Given I’ve already written about this topic a bit these past two days, this post comprises just a few photos and notes to share my Mexican salad love.
Once you’ve got the taco filling and dressing, the rest is up to you. Just start with a bed of greens, top with the warm taco filling, and mound up with your favorites veggies and/or beans to get the salad party going. As with all salads, bring in what you love to make it your own!
Here’s a few photos to get you fired up.
The first example is vegan (cheeseless) and features local summer produce: yellow sungold and red cherry tomatoes, red peppers, corn cut off the cob, scallions, and a mix of seasonal greens and cilantro (included in the lettuce blend and garnish in the center). This is simpler and lighter than those I usually make, as I wanted the fresh seasonal vegetables to shine.
The heavier Mexican dinner salad below that I made one winter evening—meaning, more stuff and cheese equals more calories—starts with a similar bed of lettuces and includes some of the same standards like red peppers, corn (frozen), and scallions. The difference below other than the obvious white cheddar on top is the addition of diced jicama, a juicy, crunchy, sweet vegetable that you should check out if you’ve never eaten it before.
Wait… What About the Avocado and Crispy Taco Bowl?
I suppose I should comment on these two traditional accompaniments, eh?
First, despite my love affair with avocados, and I always have them on hand—I’ve been known to call my husband at work to stop at the store if there’s an avocado crisis, meaning I’ve run out—you’ll note they’re not in either of the above photos. That’s because as you can see things really start to load up, and, though it’s unbelievable even to me, I forgot. Normally I do add avocado. Black olives, green peppers, and black or red beans are common, too.
And, yes, I do know that Mexican salads are often served in fried tortilla bowls. Tasty, sure, and if it were for a special dinner I’d probably do that to make it prettier and more fun. But for my regular weeknight suppers I see no need to add more calories and work to this meal. For a little crunch and to keep things traditional perhaps add a few crispy tortilla strips to the top. I don’t regularly do that only because I don’t keep chips in the house unless I’m specifically making, say, guacamole. But that’s a good way to go, I think. Kinda like Mexican croutons. (Or something.) Anyway, trust me: this salad is delicious and filling enough all on its own.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!