Monday, July 12, 2010

Mexicali Chop with Crunchy Tortilla Strips




One of my favorite things to order when going out to eat is a nice big salad. Some people may think that a salad doesn't qualify as a main course, but to me, give me a bowl full of lettuce, chopped chicken, veggies, shredded cheese, and dressing and I am one happy girl.

We've been going through a heat wave in Southern Ohio, staying the in the low 90s, and lots of humidity. So when I came across a recipe for a Mexican style salad in my new Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to try it out.

This salad is minus the meat (obviously), but for meat lovers you can easily add chicken, steak, shrimp, etc. This salad reminded me of one of my favorite main course salads that I often get at Cheesecake Factory. The crunch tortilla strips put this over the top and added a little spiciness. The dressing was what made this salad though- without it, it would be just lettuce, beans, and veggies.

So try this out next time you need something light on a hot summer's night!


Tortilla Strips:

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
3 6-inch corn tortillas
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon maple crystals or sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
pinch cayenne pepper

Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, sliced (8 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)
1 avocado, diced (1 cup)
3 celery stalks, sliced (1 cup)
1 cucumber, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 cup, fresh or frozen, thawed corn kernels
3/4 cup cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, rinsed, drained, and sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1.) To make Tortilla Strips: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush oil on tortillas. Cut in half, then cut into 1/8-inch wide strips. Spread on baking sheet. Combine chili powder, maple crystals, and salt in bowl. Sprinkle chili powder mixture over strips. Bake 15 minutes, or until crisp. Cool.

2.) To make Dressing: heat oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, sugar, and salt in saucepan 2 to 3 minutes over low heat, or until garlic begins to sizzle.

3.) Blend remaining Dressing ingredients with garlic oil in blender until smooth.

4.) Toss together all Salad ingredients with Tortilla Strips and 1/4 cup Dressing.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good...I want to definitely try this one!

    ReplyDelete