One of the things I like to do after I dine a restaurant is see if I can recreate what I ate. And then tweak it to taste exactly how I want it, aka make it better.
This easy and healthy salad was inspired by a similar salad I ate at a restaurant but has more veggies for added texture and the dressing has amazing flavor.
It’s an easy blender dressing that comes together in one minute flat and it’s packed with flavor from avocado, cilantro, Greek yogurt, lime juice, green onions, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne. It’s thick, creamy, and reminds me of this Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing but with avocado.
You’ll have extra dressing which keeps for 1 week in the fridge. It’s easy to eat healthy when you have homemade salad dressing ready and waiting.
I topped the salad with cheese and baked tortilla strips. The slight saltiness of the cheese and the crunch of the tortilla strips takes the salad from good to great.
The salad is naturally vegetarian (vegan if you use vegan cheese or omit it) and gluten-free. Perfect for bikini season coming up.
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- 8 small (4-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and quartered into wedges
- 1/2 cup corn (I used frozen)
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced small
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely minced
- 1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cilantro leaves from about 1 medium bunch cilantro (stems discarded), loosely packed in measuring cup
- 6 ounces Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat; sour cream may be substituted)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 green onion, trimmed and sliced into about 6 segments
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water, optional and as necessary for consistency
- 1 cup grated queso fresco (a shredded Mexican cheese blend may be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or foil to save cleanup time, loosely scatter the tortilla strips, evenly drizzle with olive oil, evenly sprinkle with kosher salt, toss with hands to coat evenly, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. While strips bake, assemble the salad.
- Place each wedge of lettuce on a separate plate and evenly sprinkle each wedge with corn, red peppers, black beans, and red onion; set aside.
- To the canister of a blender, add the avocado, cilantro, Greek yogurt, lime juice, green onions, garlic, salt, pepper, optional cayenne pepper, sugar, and blend on high speed until smooth and well combined. If necessary for consistency, add the water. Taste dressing to check for seasoning balance and make any necessary adjustments, i.e. more salt, pepper, sugar, lime juice, etc.
- Drizzle desired amount of dressing over each salad, evenly sprinkle with cheese, tortilla strips, and serve immediately. You will have extra dressing which will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week. Extra tortilla strips will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 619Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 1796mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 11gSugar: 9gProtein: 24g
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