I love a good salad and this Santa Fe Salad highlights the possibilities of unique combinations and the wide variety of ingredients that can be included. You can always ‘wing it’ when making salad but not all creations will be worth repeating. This one is!
Salads can be made with or without meat, tossed or composed, and can represent cuisines from around the world. This salad is a twist on the typical foods from the American southwest. I often recommend trying a new recipe as it is written to get the idea, then you can tweak it to suit your own taste.
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Vegetarian Santa Fe Salad
To make a vegetarian version of this salad I still want the flavours from the blackened spice mix. I've tried two variations; sautéing the corn in butter with blackened seasoning and roasting butternut squash cubes with the seasoning. Both are great options.
The Spice Cupboard
Everyday cooks need a good variety of spices so it’s worth the effort to keep them organized the way you like. I have a lot of spices so to keep them reasonably fresh and avoid the collection from expanding even more this is my tip.
|KITCHEN TIP - Make your own spice combinations. If you want pumpkin pie spice, pizza spice, Cajun spice or a blackened spice mix go to the spice cupboard and make it. Those spices are probably all there.|
Get The Tools
Spices are key to cooking a wide variety of dishes from around the world. These are the items I use to store my homemade spice mixes.
- traditional spice bottles available at kitchen stores
- tiny ½ cup size Mason jars (that use the same size lid as many other jars I use)
- a spice funnel
- Dymo label maker because you’ve got to label those bottles ASAP.
Tips for Salad Prep
Salads can take a lot of time, especially when you’re using several different ingredients. Organizing yourself is the key.
I assemble the ingredients into a large, flat marinating container with a lid. This makes it come together quickly. A large container can also hold small dishes, with pumpkin seeds and dates, so they're ready to serve.
How To Serve a Composed Salad
A composed salad needs a nice bowl. I love the large angled bowl you sometimes get in restaurants. I’ve got a stack of inexpensive white bowls I bought at the Asian store. These everyday bowls get a lot of use in my kitchen yet look nice enough to serve to company.
Thanks to Earl’s, a Canadian restaurant chain, for the inspiration for this salad. There are many versions of it online and this is my take and I’d love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below.
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More Salads and a Blackened Spice Mix
Santa Fe Salad
BLACKENED SPICE MIX
- 3 tablespoon paprika*
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
PEANUT LIME DRESSING
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- zest from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cup chopped dates
- ¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- ¾ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 corn tortillas, cut in half then into ½ inch wide strips
BLACKENED SPICE MIX
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Store in a jar.
PEANUT LIME DRESSING
- Put all ingredients in blender cup and process until smooth. Serve on the side.
- Heat oil in sauté pan on medium high heat. Add tortilla strips and cook until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle both sides of chicken with blackened seasoning mix.
- Heat oil in pan, sauté chicken until cooked, about 4 minutes per side. Cool slightly and slice.
- Divide lettuce among 4 large bowls.
- Top with remaining salad ingredients; sliced chicken, avocado, dates, corn, black beans and feta.
- Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and garnish with tortilla strips.
- Serve Peanut Lime Dressing on the side.