My favorite food is salad. Seriously. Right in front of air-popped popcorn with butter and salt… and pizza, of course 🙂
I eat salad every day for lunch. It’s never the same twice, because I like change. I will never be one of those people who eats a turkey sandwich and a green apple for lunch every day for years on end. I know people like that, and they are so lucky that they don’t have to think about their meals. I guess being a “creative type” gets me into trouble even in the kitchen!
Sometimes I find a really good combo of ingredients and will repeat it on an inconsistent basis 🙂 One of those combos is this MODERN TACO SALAD. Modern because I don’t think ingredients like pepitas or roasted sweet potatoes have really been considered go-to taco fixin’s until recently.
So the basic idea it to add these toppings to your mixed greens:
- Roasted diced sweet potatoes (*recipe to follow) or grated carrot
- Toasted pepita seeds
- Beans of choice (I like Black, Pinto or Adzuki)
- Cooked Brown rice or quinoa
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced green or red onion
- Roasted, diced green chiles
- Diced bell peppers, jicima and/or radishes
- Pickled (recipe here) or fresh jalapeño
- Diced Avocado
Of course, the possibilities are endless. Just think “taco” and throw it on your salad. Perhaps grilled corn or some chicken? I don’t eat a lot of dairy, but cheese is an obvious choice too. Maybe try a traditional Mexican cheese like cotija or feta instead of the obvious cheddar.
For the dressing, I usually do one of two things:
- Mix sour cream or plain yogurt with hot sauce or salsa OR
- Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, a dash of agave, garlic, cumin and chipotle powder. I find the ratio of 1:1 for the vinegar and oil as my preference. But mix it according to your liking!
You could add crushed up blue corn chips too, but I find that the seeds give the crunch I want.
*Roasting veggies is a fantastic way to bring their full flavor to the forefront. Simply pre-heat your oven to 400°. Wash and cut potatoes into ¼ inch rounds. Toss with olive oil, garlic and sea salt to coat in a bowl. Spread onto cookie sheet and bake for approx. 40 minutes, or until soft and browned. Dice into bite-size pieces for sprinkling atop a salad!
I will be posting more of my favorite salad topping combos in weeks to come. Do you have a favorite combo of ingredients to top your greens? If so, I would LOVE to hear about it!
Here are some other salad ideas from previous posts: