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Salad New Mexico, Ensalada New Mexico
Salad with a New Mexico Taste Twist
Ensalada New Mexico
We appreciate and love salads in our house. In fact, I have a rather large sealed container of a basic salad in the fridge for quick preparation. You simply have to take a serving from that bowl of salad and add the ingredients that do not store well in order to have a fresh salad in a very short time.
This salad is uses salsa as the dressing and the veg, jicama, as a crunchy addition.
Jicama (second picture) is actually from the bean family and is native to Mexico as well as Central and South America. It is a root vegetable but the taste is sweet and crunchy. Sometimes I keep it in the fridge in water much like you do prepared celery. It is an excellent low calorie nibble.
Prepare jicama by peeling (with a potato peeler) the peel off and chop into sticks.
I always wondered why the native Mexican and South American jicama was in recipes from Asia since it is not native there. Well, the Spanish carried it with them when they went to Asia. Here is a web site for more information on jicama. http://www.foodreference.com/html/art-jicama-history-facts.html
One other note, I often get one of those roasted chickens from the market and on the second night and use the left overs as pieces of the chicken in the salad. The protein makes it more of a meal. It is esp. nice if you warm up the chicken a bit right before you toss it in.
Make Ahead Ensalada Ingredients
Two romaine hearts, washed, cut length-wise then sliced into bite sized pieces.
One or two handfuls of baby carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
Two cups of sweet yellow and red peppers, tops removed, seeds removed, and sliced into rings
One cup of celery chopped into bite sized pieces
A handful of fresh parsley washed and chopped.
One-half sweet red onion, sliced into bite size pieces (I use a bit more when the onions are particularly sweet and good)
One jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced into bite size pieces
Seal in one of those lovely veggie keeping bowls (pick your own brand) or a veg. friendly bag. Store in the fridge.
Take out the amount of salad that you will need for that meal and add...
Sliced tomatoes…to taste (or the small sweets)
Slices of chicken from the grocery store rotisserie/deli (hot is nice) I toss some smaller pieces in the salad and then lay some slices on top.
Olives if you have them. They make a nice salty touch.
For dressing, try one of these
Use your homemade salsa or a nice quality bottled salsa. Make or select a salsa to your heat preference.
OR You may also mix the salsa with a nice mayonnaise OR a ranch dressing to create a special New Mexico oriented taste. To create the dressing begin with ¾ salsa to mayo or ranch. If you want a smoky taste, add ½ t. of cumin.
OR Last night I mixed ½ salsa to ½ Ranch dressing and it was very nice.
Toss the whole salad with the dressing. You use less dressing when you prepare it this way. (Lower calorie and same taste….) If you end up with a bit of left over dressing, just store it tightly covered in the fridge for tomorrow.