Tag Archives: Southwest

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

7 Sep
Southwest Taco Salad with Guacamole Dressing

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Ahhh, where oh where did the summer go? School starts this week in my neck of the woods and temperatures have gone from sizzling hot to almost frosty. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying this zesty and crunchy salad filled with summer bounty topped with a smooth avocado dressing.

We’ve just returned this weekend from nine glorious days camping and fishing at the beautiful Oregon coast. What a wonderful way to end the summer!

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Adapted from Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing at Carlsbad Cravings

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

1 small avocado, peeled and roughly diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 salsa, homemade or store-bought (I used my Hatch chile salsa)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Southwest Taco Salad

Grilled chicken breast, sliced (or deli rotisserie)
Corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet white corn
Chopped/shredded lettuce of choice
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup roasted pepitas
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Tortilla chips, for serving

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Add all of the Creamy Guacamole Dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You will have to scrape down the sides a few times. Add additional milk, if needed, to thin to desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Next, grill the chicken breast, if it isn’t already cooked.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken

Remove the kernels from the ear of corn, using a Bundt-pan to catch the kernels, if you have one. (That’s a pretty cool tip I picked up from Pinterest.)

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Add all the salad ingredients except dressing and chips to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Add tossed salad to individual bowls, then top with guacamole dressing and serve with tortilla chips.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this  Yummy Recipe!

 

 

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Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

5 Jun
Spicy Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

Spicy Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

I went twice — mind you TWICE — to my local store that caters to the Hispanic community each day this past weekend to find flank steak for this salad, and both times they said they had sold out already! I obviously need to get to the store earlier in the day if I want that cut of meat.

Nonetheless, I didn’t want to travel to another grocery so I settled on super-thin cut bottom round, which was labeled “for Carne Asada” so figured that would work just fine. I was planning on marinating the meat anyways in a lime juice concoction, which helps tenderize the meat. The idea to make steak salad started with wanting to use up the rest of my Roasted Tomato Salsa  from the other day. It’s been in the high 70s/low 80s  here the past few days and just love to grill in this kind of weather.

Beef Marinating in Chile Lime Sauce

Beef Marinating in Chile Lime Sauce

There are so many things you can do with a salad like this! Some grilled corn would be great on it,  but it’s not quite yet corn season here yet, but settled on adding avocado, black beans seasoned with cumin and some of the salsa and lime juice, halved grape tomatoes, grilled red and yellow peppers, green onion, and black olives. Oh! And the finishing touches of my Roasted Tomato Salsa, crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Fresh Red Leaf Lettuce and Baby Spinach

Fresh Red Leaf Lettuce and Baby Spinach

This was the first time I’d ever bought Cotija cheese, but had seen it used in many Mexican recipes. It’s a brick of cheese that crumbles up like blue cheese, and my first taste realized why it goes so well with Mexican cooking! Such a fabulous “tang” to it! From what I researched it keeps really well too, so my somewhat spendy purchase for 10 ounces of it should keep in the fridge for quite a while and am looking forward to using it in other dishes.

Steak Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or regular vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico Red or Ancho Chile powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound thin-sliced bottom or top round steak (or flank steak if you can find it!)

Whisk all the ingredients except the steak in a medium glass bowl.  Add the thinly sliced steak and let marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour but up to 3 or 4 hours. Mix around when you can. A half hour before cooking, remove from the fridge and let set to come to room temperature.

Zesty Grilled Southwest Steak Salad

Zesty Grilled Southwest Steak Salad

Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

1 bell pepper (we used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow), deseeded and halved
Spray olive oil
Garlic powder
Marinated steak (recipe above)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained and seasoned with 1 tablespoon salsa, squeeze of lime wedge,  and 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup of mixed greens per person (we used red leaf lettuce and baby spinach)
1 6-ounce can black olives
3 green onions, chopped roughly
1/2 carton grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Roasted Tomato Salsa recipe, for dressing, or any salsa you have on hand
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Corn tortilla chips, for garnish

Preheat grill to high, spray the bell pepper with olive oil both sides and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Place on grill 20 minutes before ready to assemble the salad.  Meanwhile, mix up the black beans, salsa, lime,  and cumin, and set aside. After 10 minutes flip the peppers over. Now place the thin-sliced marinated steak on the grill and cook each side 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and tent with foil. Remove the peppers from the grill and slice  thin.

Now take the steak and slice thin across the grain. Add your greens to a bowl, assemble the vegetables over it (don’t forget anything, that’s easy to do!), then top with the steak. Add the Roasted Tomato Salsa for dressing, then the cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for garnish. This is a great dish to mix and combine any number of fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Olé!

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