Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mexican Caesar Salad with Quesadilla "Croutons" and Cilantro-Lime dressing

If you want all the taste of Mexican food, but without that heavy feeling that sometimes comes with a great Mexican feast, then this salad will become one of your favorite salads EVER!
It is so full of flavor and light and healthy!

About once a year I decide to "get healthier". I try to create spins on my go to recipes that might just make it healthier.  I use real food ingredients and make a lot of swap outs.  In the end, I hope for a healthier alternative to some of my favorite dishes. 

I was making quesadillas as a side dish for my kids so it just wouldn't be a salad and I got the idea to make them into "croutons"! I crisped up the tortilla and melted the cheese and cut into little squares and sprinkled it over my salad. It was amazing!  A little crunch just like a crouton promises with cheesy goodness!

This salad is so fresh and so tasty that every single person in my house asked if I would make it again tomorrow!
I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did!

How to make Chicken:

  • boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 lime or lemon (juiced)
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. 

Season chicken with cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and pepper. 
Drizzle with oil. 
Cook chicken on grill about 8 minutes per side. Depending how thick pieces are.
Squeeze lime or lemon juice over the chicken. 
Thinly slice.

Cilantro-Lime Caesar Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 jalapeno  (minced)
  • 1 lime (zested, juiced)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
Add all ingredients into Mason jar and shake. It's that easy! 
(If you don't have a Mason jar, then add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk.)

*To make quesadilla melt 1 teaspoon of butter and add tortilla, then top with cheese and cover with another tortilla.  Cook until golden brown and flip over and continue cooking until cheese melts and tortilla is golden brown.

Now putting it all together:

  •  romaine lettuce (thinly sliced into strips)
  • 1/4 cup cheese (cotija or pepperjack or colby)
  • 1 or 2 avocados depending on size (sliced or diced)
  • 1 cheesy quesadilla* to make "croutons" (cut into small squares)
  • 1/2 black beans (canned or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
Time to eat:
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and toss to combine. 
  • Add dressing to taste. 
  • Enjoy!

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