My Mexi-Chopp Salad is a cross between a cube-infused Cobb Salad and a Mexican Tostada .. sans the fried tortilla shell. It is a sort of Mexican Chopped Salad. This fun recipe is a feast for your eyes as colorful components line up across a delicate bed of blanched green kale - tossed in a zesty lime-agave dressing.
Cubed delight.. Tender sweet cubes of sweet potato fall beside cubed avocado and smoky lime-chipotle tofu cubes. Creamy, olive-dotted, cashew "sour cream" finishes the row. The fiesta-inspired kale salad is brimming with healthy-delicious flavor (and nutrients!). My cheezy-tastic tagline for this dish: "This salad has some serious CUBE appeal." ha. ha. :) ...
served with fresh coconut water - yes please.
S U M M E R S A L A D S = L O V E them ... you too?
Yup, I'm LOVING summer salads. Check out this one I enjoyed at M Cafe in Beverly Hills - the Gado Gado - side of green juice..
Now, lets start the Mexi-Chopp chomping..
The foundation for any good salad: amazing greens. Blanched kale it is..
To Blanch: To plunge foods into boiling water for a few seconds or a few minutes, then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved. Blanching also denatures enzymes that make food spoil as the first step in food preservation. -BusyCooks.com
kale, one large bunch
firm tofu, one package
1 sweet potato
black olives, sliced (1 small can)
avocado (I used a Florida avocado)
salt and pepper
optional: salsa or hot sauce over top
Other Mexi-Chopp ingredient ideas..
jicama, plantains, jalapenos, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, and more..
Cashew Sour Cream:
Dive into this tasty Mexi-Chopp Rainbow!..
Before you dive into the recipe - a note.. the recipe may look long, but it is really easy to make - the complex part is the number of components - but the seasoning is very simple. Use the lime and chipotle spice + salt/pepper throughout to add flavor and you are good to go. And trust me, once you have this gorgeous salad in front of you, all the hard work will be rewarded at first bite!
makes 2-3 salads
1 bunch kale, chopped/remove thick stems
1 lime, juiced + pinch of zest
1 Tbsp favorite salad oil (I used walnut oil)
2 tsp agave syrup
dash of pepper
dash of chipotle powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
for a thicker-style dressing add in 1 tsp of either tahini, cashew sour cream or Vegenaise
(you could also easily sub with your favorite store-bought dressing. A variety of flavors will work!)
1 sweet potato, peeled
salt + pepper to taste
dash of chipotle powder
12 ounces firm tofu, cubed
1 lime, juiced + zested
chipotle spice + garlic powder to taste (a nice sprinkle to coat one side of tofu cubes)
a few drops liquid smoke (optional)
salt + pepper to taste
cashew sour cream:
1 cup cashews, soaked/drained/rinsed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/4 tsp salt
a few dashes pepper
1 cup water (use only as much as you need to create desired consistency)
1/2 cup avocado, diced and tossed in lime juice
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
salsa or hot sauce (optional)
1. Give yourself at lest 6 hours to soak your cashews before starting this recipe. Soak them in salted water - until tender.
2. Drain your soaked cashews and rinse them in water. Add the drained/rinsed cashews to a Vitamix or food processor. Add the cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of water. Start the blender on low. Add in more splashes of water until the mixture is churning well. Allow to mix until smooth. Add in only as much water as you need to achieve a smooth hummus-style consistency. Taste test. Add in a pinch more salt and pepper if desired. Place in fridge to chill.
3. Prep your kale by pulling leaves from the thick stems. Rinse the kale very well and plunge into very hot - almost boiling water. Quickly remove plunged kale (I use a straining basket) and submerge the kale into ice cold water. I simply fill a very large bowl with cold water and ice and submerge the strainer that contains the kale. Pull the kale and either spin or pat dry. Set aside.
4. Mix together your dressing. Set aside.
5. Peel sweet potato and dice. Add to large saute pan and fill with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Turn heat to high and bring to a bowl. Then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Drain water and toss the potatoes in the seasoning (salt, pepper, chipotle powder) - the sweet potatoes are delicious on their own so do not need much seasoning. You could also toss them in a light drizzle of maple or agave syrup to enhance the natural sweetness. Set aside.
6. Heat a small pool of oil in a saute pan and add your tofu cubes. Quickly add a generous sprinkle of spices over top the tofu. Allow to cook until the bottom side has browned and caramelized the edges. Flip tofu and add a few more sprinkles of spice. When the tofu is just about ready, add in the lime juice and lime zest - turn heat off while you add the lime since it can sizzle quite a bit. Toss well. Turn heat back on and cook for an additional minute of two until all the lime juice has absorbed. Lastly, add in a few drops of optional liquid smoke. Tofu tips here.
7. Toss your kale in the salad dressing and arrange on plates. Line up the tofu, sweet potatoes, diced avocado and a few scoops of cashew sour cream. Add the olives and some additional pepper. Add some hot sauce or salsa for an extra spicy kick. Serve!
Craving more cubes salad bliss? Try these:
* The Vegan Cobb
* Cobb in a Jar
* Also try my Mexican Fiesta Salad
* Many more salads + Mexican recipes in my Vegan Recipe Index
And more Mexi-Chopp...