I’m serving up southwestern fare this week and wanted a complimentary side salad to go with the Layered Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas I made yesterday. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just colorful, fresh and flavorful. Start with pre-cut cabbage either with shredded carrot or not. I like the angel hair slaw which you can buy packaged in the produce section. I add a mix of other lettuces to balance weight and flavor. Top with fresh grape tomatoes, bacon, green onions, red bell pepper, avocado and Mexican-blend cheese. It’s colorful and full-bodied.
The highlight of this salad is the delicious Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing which I first introduced in my Southwestern Cobb Salad, an entree salad made with chicken and black beans. This salad is virtually a mini-version of that one. I love this dressing! You might even be tempted to drink this stuff; it’s that tasty. It’s simple to make and keeps in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Use it on anything southwestern like omelets, enchiladas or tacos. It starts out like the classic Ranch dressing with buttermilk, light mayonnaise and Heavenly Valley dressing mix. This all goes into the blender with fresh tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, lime and cilantro leaves. See? So easy, and super fresh.
- Chopped Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
- 3 cups pre-sliced angel hair coleslaw
- 3 cups chopped mixed greens (like green leaf, red leaf, arugula, iceberg)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onions
- 1 small avocado, diced
- 6 slices center-cut bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tomatillos, husked and quartered
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and halved
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 packet Ranch Buttermilk Recipe dressing mix
- Arrange salad greens on a large platter. Top with remaining ingredients except for dressing ingredients.
- For the dressing: Place all ingredients in container of food processor or electric blender. Cover and process until well blended. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. (You will not use all of the dressing.)
- Pour about 1/2 cup dressing over salad and toss to combine.
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