Salad is a great way to eat healthy meals. However, it needs to be filled with protein and tasty ingredients in order to call it a meal! My sister, Suzy found this great place in California called The Native Foods Cafe. Check out their website here. Everything they serve is vegetarian and in fact, 100% plant based. Not that I’m a vegetarian, but every now and then it’s nice to get full without meat!
One day Suzy told me about this delicious mango salad they serve. I was planning to try and imitate it when the next thing I know, she has sent me the actual recipe, which blew me away. I love it when restaurants share their recipes. I made it for dinner tonight and man was it good! Such fresh and unique flavors…they call it “The Mecca Azteca” and it’s featured in their cookbook too.
Here are the ingredients: chopped tomato, cucumber, jicama, avocado, red onion, mixed salad greens, quinoa, mango, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chipotle powder and Mango Lime Vinaigrette. The dressing has mango, oil, maple syrup, lime juice, rice vinegar and fresh ginger.
Such a nice summer dinner idea and very filling too. I look forward to hitting this restaurant the next time I go see my sister!
What is quinoa anyway?
Quinoa is a seed from a plant I’ve never heard of called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, grown in the Andean Mountains in South America. It can be substituted for rice or couscous in meals. Slightly crunchy and chewy, it’s full of protein and very nutritious. In fact, it is a perfect grain to store for emergencies because of the protein content. After all, if there is a real emergency, we won’t be able to go to the store and get fish, meat and chicken. Source is here.
The Mecca Azteca from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped jicama
1 cup chopped avocado
2 cup chopped red onion
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp sea salt
2 cups mixed salad greens
4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup Mango Lime Vinaigrette
2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 T roasted pumpkin seeds
4 T currants, raisins, or chopped dates
4 slices fresh mango
1 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
In a bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, jicama, avocado, and red onion. Toss with lemon juice and sea salt. Divide salad greens on four plates or bowls. Top each with I cup of cooked quinoa. On each serving, drizzle quinoa with about 2 tablespoons of the Mango Lime Vinaigrette. On each serving, place one-quarter of the tomato mixture on top of the quinoa. Drizzle a bit more Mango Lime Vinaigrette on top of the tomato mixture on each serving. Garnish each serving with cilantro leaves, pumpkin seeds, currants, fresh mango slice, and chipotle powder.
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen mango
1/2 cups safflower or sunflower oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
1 T rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
This dressing is thick, so you may need to drizzle it on salads using a spoon. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Alternatively you may defrost the mango first. Substitute tangerine juice for lime juice, and call it Mango Tango Vinaigrette.