Here we go again with another completely out of season dish. I’m so sorry! Seriously, I can’t help myself right now. I go down the produce aisles of our local grocery store and I am completely mesmerized by the fresh produce. There it is, staring back at me, so fresh and brightly coloured. I’m like a serial single girl in the engagement ring section of the jewelery store, I just can’t take my eyes off them. Then, like the prices staring back at the single girl from the overly polished diamond rings, I see the country of origin stickers and the guilt sets in. I have to tell myself that it’s “for the baby”, the midwives said I need lots of protein and vegetables! I need to eat foods from ridiculously far corners of the world in order to feed this baby! It’s true, because I said so.
So if you happen to stumble upon this recipe, say, in mid-July, then I encourage you to make it. Make it twice this week! It’s just so good and satisfying. I had to lay my big fat pregnant self down onto the couch after this salad, I was just so full. This meal can be even more fun for little ones who aren’t so keen on all the green. By adding some baked (not fried!) tortilla chips around the edges, it’s now a somewhat forbidden “bad” food and may get their attention more easily. Or you could try your hand at making those fun tortilla bowls, although they are deep fried and may be hard to make in your own kitchen.
In any case, this is a damn fine salad and full of healthy, nutritious foods the whole family will love. So go on and make it tonight for your dinner, it’s always nice to have a change from the everyday. Just don’t hate me for adding a few carbon footprints to this winter’s growing pile.
Mexican Fiesta Salad
For the seasoned topping:
4 Brown crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 lb. extra lean ground beef or turkey
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup water or stock
For salad base:
Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
grape tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 -1 whole avocado, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
Freshly grated Cheddar and Mozzarella
sour cream & salsa as dressing
1. In a sauté pan at medium high heat, melt a small amount of butter or veg oil.
2. Toss in the mushrooms, pepper and onion and sauté until softened.
3. Add in ground meat (beef or turkey) and allow to brown slightly.
4. Add in seasoning and water and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
5. On plates, arrange lettuce, tomatoes and avocado.
6. Top with meat, then cilantro, then cheeses and finally with sour cream and salsa.
7. Serve to delighted family.