Southwest Salad

by Kris on April 5, 2011

Long story short, living in the south and vacationing in Arkansas has not been kind to my waistline. So instead of completely ‘getting off the tacos’ I’m replacing them with healthier taco salads. The roasted sweet potato and fresh corn makes this salad irresistible and quite filling.

Yesterday was my 25th birthday, so to celebrate my mum came to visit us here in Dallas. We went to aw shucks for dinner with Greg and had Louisiana style boiled crawdads and shrimp. It was great! Today the two of us are road tripping to Austin and staying at the Austin Motel; a renovated 50’s themed motel in Soco. The next day we will be exploring the Alamo and River walk in San Antonio and then we will venture into Hill Country to look at the natural wild flowers. I’m sure I will be eating a lot more of these salads when I get back after we eat copious amounts of Texas BBQ and Tex Mex!

fresh corn on the cob, about 2 husks
1 sweet potato, diced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 lb ground turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tsp. cumin
½ Tsp. oregano
½ Tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tsp. paprika
juice from 1 lime
¼ Tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ cup green chillies, diced
2 cups of a lettuce blend of your choice
¼ red pepper, diced
¼ cup black beans or pinto beans, rinsed
6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
2-3 green onions, diced
½ avocado, diced
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled
2 Tbsp. fat free ranch dressing
½ Tsp. barbecue sauce
1 Tsp. hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Peel husks and silk off corn and boil for 5-10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside.

Coat diced sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, toss and continue to bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat remaining vegetable oil over medium high and sauté ground turkey until no longer pink. Combine minced garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, lime juice, green chillies and ¼ cup of water. Pour over turkey and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the salad. In a large bowl combine lettuce, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh corn, red pepper, beans, tomatoes, green onions, avocado and cheese.

In a small bowl combine ranch dressing, barbecue sauce and hot sauce. Toss the salad with the dressing and divide salad onto plates. Top the salad with crumbled tortilla chips and warm ground turkey. Enjoy!

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