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A Light Mexican-esque Summer Salad

Posted Aug 12 2009 10:04pm
S alads are great for the fact that you can literally throw any raw, cooked, hot, or cold vegetable, protein, or fruit in a bowl and deem it salad worthy. Sprinkle it with either simple olive oil and vinegar, or, drizzle a delicious homemade vingarette or dressing. The foods could be of leafy green varietites or they could be chopped up anything really. According to Wikipedia, salad is said to come from the French word, “Salade”, which comes from the latin word, “salata”, which means salty because the first “salad” was comprised of brined vegetables. When you think about it, it makes sense since a Greek salad is composed of mostly salted items like anchovies, cheese, and olives. Salads aren’t just for lunch but can be a light supper with some crusty bread and soup or on its own with really sturdy components.

This recipe is a great side to a Spanish/Mexican supper, or, as a light lunch. Heck, to make this a supper salad, add some good protein and you’re set. The jicama is a sweet vegetable resembling the water chestnut in texture and taste except maybe being a bit sweeter. I’ve spoken about it before and how I enjoy substituting it in the place of water chestnuts because they can get so grainy.

Unfortunately, I have no access to fresh water chestnuts, but, I did hear that their taste is much better as opposed to the canned variety. Jicama can be eaten raw and store very well in the refrigerator for extensive periods of time, but, I wouldn’t go about freezing it due to its water content. That goes for any vegetable/fruit with a high water content because when it freezes, the water will leak out, which is why you don’t freeze eggplants, watermelon, etc. You can freeze zucchini but it gets all mushy afterwards; I personally don’t like doing it.

I’ve been hurting myself with the goat cheese, but, sometimes it’s nice to let go a little. I hate not having dairy. It’s depressing and oh so good in this combination.

Candy-Spiced Jicama Salad
with Avocado & Goat Cheese

½ of a small jicama, thin julienne
¼ of an avocado, diced
2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups of your favorite greens

1 packet of stevia
½ cup orange juice
Chili powder

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

To candy the jicama, combine the cinnamon, chili powder, salt, pepper, stevia, and orange juice in a deep pan. Bring this to a boil before adding the jicama. Let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes or so then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid becomes mostly evaporated and whatever’s left thick and syrupy. You can either let this cool, as I did, or top the greens to have a combination of hot and cold salad components

Spread out your greens on your plate, followed by the jicama. Sprinkle across the top the diced avocado and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle over everything the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and garnish with a dash of chili powder if you want an extra kick of heat.
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