Cinco de Mayo is just over a week away. I don’t know about you, but I plan on plying myself with salty margaritas, crispy chips, salsa, loads of guacamole, and cheesy nachos all weekend long.
Especially margaritas. I’m still making up for a summer lost during that whole pregnancy business.
Before I get into the festive gluttony, however, I plan on sticking to our normal weekday menu of slightly less indulgent meals. This salad is the best of both worlds: it’s healthy and light (vegan, even) but preps your taste buds for the spicy onslaught of delicious Tex-Mex/Southwestern/Mexican food sure to come your way this weekend (because, really, who wants to celebrate such festivities on a TUESDAY? Not me). It’s one of those healthy-but-doesn’t-taste-healthy meals. It’s totally satisfying.
We’ve got roasted and spiced sweet potatoes, sweet corn, black beans, buttery avocado, and some fresh tomatoes and greens going to into the mix. Lightly coating everything in a flavorful and “zippy” vinaigrette ties it all together. The vinaigrette is super simple but packs a punch. I want to drizzle it on the things.
And just because we’re being so virtuous, a small handful of crushed tortilla chips certainly won’t hurt things. In fact, it kinda makes this salad. Don’t skip the chips. Or the accompanying margarita. What?! It’s Monday. Margarita Monday. Duh, people.
If you wanted to add even more flavor to this, you could dollop some salsa on top or even swap the plain avocado for guacamole (I have an epic guac recipe coming your way later this week). Swap the black beans for pinto. Add a handful of shredded sharp cheddar. Throw some grilled chicken breast on top. Really, you can make this work for you in a million ways. I just happen to love this particular combination of ingredients.
It’s low maintenance, healthy, requires almost no actual cooking, and…most importantly: it’s delicious.
And that calls for a margarita.
Told you I was making up for lost time.
2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
8-10 cups mixed baby greens
1½ cups corn (fresh or defrosted frozen)
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Crushed tortilla chips
Juice of 2 limes
1 garlic clove, very finely minced, grated, or pressed
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons honey (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the cubed sweet potato with the cumin, coriander, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the sweet potato is caramelized and tender. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together until blended.
Toss together the greens, corn, avocado, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and the warm sweet potato chunks. Toss everything with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the tortilla chips. Serve immediately.