Ethnic And International Foods

Mexican Salad Ideas

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Mexican Salad

Now when you think of Mexican food, you think tacos and enchiladas, but there's nothing like a delicious Mexican salad on the side or as a main dish. Mexican salads are a combination of sweet and spicy flavors, select herbs, fresh veggies, ground meats, zesty cheeses and tantalizing toppings and dressings. The following are some of my favorite Mexican salad recipes, that give bland, boring salads a zesty Mexican kick.

Quick Side Salad
For a great salad to serve with a meal or as an appetizer before the meal, try this easy and quick side salad. The combination of jicama, tomato's onions, tortilla chips and cotija give it a fresh and savory Mexican style flavor.

1 head of lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crunched
1/2 cup cotija, crumbled
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jicama, peeled and julienned or cubed

Combine all the ingredients and serve alone or with a main course, drizzle with your preferred dressing, like the cilantro recipe listed below.

Roasted Pepper Salad
This roasted pepper salad will tantalize your taste buds, with a combination of 3 different varieties of chiles and bell peppers, served with a tangy Mexican style dressing and topped with Monterey jack cheese. This is a Mexican masterpiece of roasted peppers and delicious spices, and with the amazing color of the veggies and its presentation, this dish looks just as good as it tastes.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

In a blender or food processor, puree onion and garlic together with the vegetable oil and olive oil. Strain the contents and combine with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill in the fridge for 30 40 minutes while preparing the second half of the recipe.

Pepper Mixture
Combination of 3 mild green chiles; Poblano, New Mexico and Anaheim, roasted
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted
1 red bell pepper, roasted
1 green bell pepper, roasted
Crumbled Cotija or aged Monterey Jack or
grated Monterey Jack cheese
lettuce leaves for garnish (optional)

Make sure to use roasted chiles and peppers, and slice them into ribbons about a inch in thickness. Assemble them decoratively on a serving plate, and poor the dressing mixture on top of the veggie mixture. Top with the cheese distributed evenly among the dish and place the lettuce along the plate's edge as a garnish.

Ranch Style Taco Salad
This ranch style taco salad is full of Mexican flavor, and known to satisfy a hungry appetite like no other salad out there. This dish is a delectable mixture of ranch style beans, avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese, creamy ranch dressing and ground beef. There's no question that these ranch style Mexican flavors transform ordinary lettuce into an extraordinary Mexican salad.

1 head lettuce torn into pieces
Diced Onion
1 (16 ounce) can ranch style beans drained
2 avocados
2 tomatoes diced
1 pound Cheddar cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 bottle Catalina or ranch style dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package corn chips

Saut the ground beef, drain thoroughly and set aside to cool off before combined with other ingredients. Chop the avocado and coat with lemon juice. Toss all ingredients together except for the corn chips. Once all ingredients are combined, break the corn chips into smaller pieces and distribute on top of the mixture right before serving. This recipe makes 8 servings.

Mexican Bean Salad
This Mexican bean salad recipe just goes to show that you can have a delicious, Mexican inspired salad that doesn't require lettuce. Call me loco, but I just can't get enough of this delicious medley of beans, ranch dressing and cheese, and it's great texture. This recipe is so easy, I make it for almost every small get together.

1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing dip mix
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bag chili cheese flavor corn chips, crushed

Rinse and drain both types of beans and corn. Combine corn, tomato, onion, ranch dressing mix, and cheese with the bean/corn mixture. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve, mix in the corn chips and serve immediately.

Cilantro Dressing
This Mexican inspired dressing is great for the Quick side salad recipe above, and can be used on just about any salad you desire. The dressing's citrus flavor gives it a very fresh, zesty taste, that is guaranteed to liven up any salad.
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup cilantro
pinch of Mexican oregano
pinch of garlic powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt to taste

Combine all in ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend on the low speed setting until almost smooth. Pour over lettuce for a great Mexican inspired salad, anytime.

Mexican salad can come in many forms, and with many different ingredients and herbs, and lettuce is not always a requirement. The previously listed recipes are some of the most flavorful Mexican inspired salad recipes that I've come across and some of the easiest as well. Whether you prefer a typical Mexican salad with dressing, or a zesty vegetable salad, the recipes mentioned are sure to excite your pallet and entice your senses.

More about this author: Daniella Di Nenno

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