Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ensalada azteca


There’s a vegan restaurant in my neighborhood that, along with this recipe, makes me believe I could live off vegan food, climb trees, climb mountains, etc. all the live long day. (I say this with the caveat that they have these awesome nachos, corn bread, a decent cheesecake as well).

This salad was the first thing I had there…and tried to recreate a few months later for one of my first dates with Abe many a years ago. My memory failed me as I ended up with a bowl of romaine, quinoa and honey mustard dressing. Fail.
Anyways, redemption came when I found this recipe on the Native Foods Blog here. It’s all kinds of crisp veggies, and the raisins and sunflowers add an unexpected flavor and texture to it; not to mention the subtle kick from the cayenne. Pow.
Altogether, I’m a fan. The ingredient list seems long, but you’ll have leftover dressing and a big, heaping, delicious, beautiful salad at the end of it.

For the Mango Lime Dressing:
Combine the following ingredients in a mixer and blend till smooth. Allow the dressing to sit before serving so the flavors can come together. *Note that the dressing comes out pretty thick, so you might have to use a spoon to drizzle it over your salad (vs. pouring it out of the blender or bottle).


1 cup of fresh (or frozen) mango
½ cup sunflower oil (I used canola; any neutral flavored oil will work)
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Tomato Mixture:
Combine the following ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled + chopped
1 cup jicama, chopped
1 cup avocado, chopped
½ cup red onion, minced
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

Additional ingredients:
2 cups of mixed greens
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to instructions and cooled

4 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
4 Tablespoons raisins or chopped dates
Slices of fresh mango
Cayenne pepper (optional)
To assemble Salad:
Divvy up the mix greens onto 4 plates. Top with equal amounts of quinoa, then drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of dressing.
Top with Tomato Mixture and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with sunflower seeds, raisins, and fresh mango. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper if you don’t mind a kick. Serve and enjoy.

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