I first made this salad a few years ago when we were having our friends over for a summer barbecue. I knew I wanted to make a salad for the get together, but I didn’t want it to be the same old, albeit good, garden, caesar or greek. It had to be something different, but still delicious for us health conscious moms!
I remember coming across this beautiful and colourful salad on Pinterest and pinned it right away. It looked so healthy and vibrant looking with all of the bright chopped veggies. It definitely didn’t look like any salad I’ve ever seen at a potluck before.
So, I made it. I was a little skeptical of the avocado and cilantro dressing (if you’ve seen my Avocado Chocolate Chip Muffins post, you’ll have read my love hate relationship with avocados), but I made it anyway.
Prior to making this recipe, I had never tried cilantro before. I remember someone on the Food Network saying ‘with cilantro – either you love it, or you think it tastes like soap!’ Well, I liked it. It wasn’t love at first bite; but after trying it in a few more recipes and garnishing fish tacos with it, I’v now grown to love it!
Did you know there are actually benefits from eating cilantro? Neither did I – until I did a little research. Cilantro has actually been known to lower blood sugar level, protects against colon cancer, promotes healthy menstrual function and can even lessen anxiety. Who knew!? Take a look here.
We have a salad for supper most nights so some days I’m looking for new but healthy and satisfying ways to change it up a bit. My boys haven’t tried this one yet, but now that they have tried and say they like cilantro, hopefully now they’ll finally give this one a try! I mean, they do tend to change their minds every hour about what they currently like and what they (all of a sudden) don’t like. It’s hard to keep of track sometimes!!
This recipe is so versatile. You could enrich your protein intake by adding a grilled chicken breast or strips of steak, even fish. I have to say, every time I make this salad, it never disappoints. It’s bright, it’s colourful, it’s healthy and it’s such a delicious salad.
I hope you enjoy it also! Give it a try ~ you’ll be a hit at the next family gathering or friends potluck!!
Southwest Chopped Salad with Garlic Avocado and Cilantro Dressing
- 1 large head of romaine lettuce or green or red leaf lettuce
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large orange bell pepper
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 c corn I use thawed frozen corn, grilled corn would also be good for this southwest salad
- 5 green onions
- 1 stalk celery, divided
- 1 avocado, sliced thin
- 1 c loosely packed cilantro, washed and stems removed
- ½ avocado
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, about ½ lime
- 2 garlic cloves jarred garlic works, use approximately 2 tsps
- ⅓ c olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- After washing all of the veggies, rough chop the lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, celery and green onions.
- In a large bowl, add all of the vegetables, beans and corn then toss with the creamy avocado dressing.
- To make the dressing: add the above salad dressing ingredients into a food processor or a blender until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. I usually need to add more olive oil because I find it gets quite thick. Add the dressing to the salad right before serving*.*To avoid soggy salad. do not add the dressing too early. Although, I have been known to save and eat soggy salad the next day because this salad is too good to be tossed!
Have you made this type of salad before or have a recipe similar to this one? I’d love to hear about it!
Here are a few more really great salads I’ve been wanting to try, take a look!