Friday, June 28, 2013

Southwest Salad

One of my favorite summer dishes is Southwest Salad. 
Heck, I make it year round, we just tend to eat salads more in the warmer months. 
For us, it is inspired by our love of restaurants like Chipotle and Qdoba.
{My husband goes for the ginormous burritos, I opt for a massive salad.}
So, this is a way for us to fill that desire, while staying home, and on budget.

The ingredient list for the salad is simple:
Anything you want in your salad.
We do lettuce, tomato, corn, black beans, rice, chicken, salsa, cheese, and in the summer months I add mango and avocado to the line up.
Green peppers, onions, homemade pico .... all would be great additions!

You also need a dressing.
J loves the chipotle ranch dressing I found at Walmart, since it has a bit of kick to it. Me, not so much. I'm a milder dressings kinda gal (French and Caesar, but never Ranch or Mayo).
Last time I was at Qdoba, I tried the Mango Salad, and the lime vinaigrette dressing it came with.
So I decided to experiment, and try making my own dressing at home.
This is one of those taste as you go, make to your preference deals, and makes enough for 3-4 large salads (at least, for us).

Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette : 
2 oz lime juice
2 oz vinegar (I used white)
2 oz olive oil 
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla 
+ salt, pepper to taste

Without the sugar & vanilla the dressing was too tangy for my taste,
but, again, add as much or little as you like.
I liked the flavor combo of the tart lime with the sweet vanilla, it seemed to pair well with the fruits and veggies I had in my salad.

Or, try one of these vinaigrette dressings - perfect for summer salads:
Basic Vinaigrette with 8 Variations.

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