Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shake off the Winter Blues Salad!


I've been yearning for springtime a lot lately. I'm trying to shake off the winter blues a bit by visualizing the warm sun on my face, painted toes & strappy sandals, and a little trip to Florida to see my family.
This salad helps too and it is AMAZING. It is full of bright, delicious flavors like mango, jicama, medjool dates, cilantro, tomato, toasted pumpkin seeds, ginger, quinoa, and avocado. 
And the dressing....well, hold onto your heart! Springtime...here I come!


I found this recipe years ago in one of my favorite vegan cook books,  
The Native Foods Restaurant Cook Book, by Tanya Petrovna. 
I've made it many times and I especially like to serve it when I have family in town or friends over. Or, like the other night, when I needed a little bit of sunshine in my kitchen.
It is healthy, beautiful to look at, and full of sexy flavor.





Oh, and did I say the Mango Lime Vinaigrette is crazy good? It is.
So, let's chat....what are you doing to shake off the winter blues?





Mecca Azteca Salad {aka my "Shake off the Winter Blues" Salad!}
Serves 4-6

from the Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook

1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped jicama
1 cup chopped avocado

1/2 cup chopped red onion {I thinly sliced mine}
2 tablespoons lemon juice 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups mixed salad greens {I used a lot more}
4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup Mango Lime Vinaigrette {see recipe below}

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed
4 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons currants, raisins, or chopped dates {I used medjool dates}
4 slices fresh mango
1 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne pepper - optional - {I put a pinch of cayenne in the dressing instead}.


In a bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, jicama, avocado, and red onion. Toss with lemon juice and sea salt. Divide salad greens on four plates or bowls. Top each with I cup of cooked quinoa. On each serving, drizzle quinoa with about 2 tablespoons of the Mango Lime Vinaigrette. On each serving, place one-quarter of the tomato mixture on top of the quinoa. Drizzle a bit more Mango Lime Vinaigrette on top of the tomato mixture on each serving. Garnish each serving with cilantro leaves, pumpkin seeds, currants, fresh mango slice, and chipotle powder.


Mango-Lime Vinaigrette
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen mango {I used frozen}
1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil {I used less, like 1/3 cup}

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger {I used more, I like ginger}

This dressing is thick, so you may need to drizzle it on salads using a spoon.  Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. When I use frozen mango, I sometimes put it in frozen, since blending defrosts it. Alternatively you may defrost the mango first.  Substitute tangerine juice for lime juice, and call it Mango Tango Vinaigrette.


4 comments:

  1. Wow, what a delicious salad, I am going to make it tomorrow.

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    1. Isn't it lovely? You are so going to love it!

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  2. This looks wonderful! I have most of the ingredients already except for jicama, avocado and limes. Think I need to go to the store!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Allison. I enjoyed the salad again for lunch today and it gave me such a nice boost during my workday. Let me know how it comes out for you!

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