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Fiesta Salad

Fiesta Salad is a colourful, attractive and tangy Mexican salad that can be included as part of a meal or can form a complete meal by itself considering that it is packed with healthy components and loaded with plenty of flavour. There are purely vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian variations to this wholesome salad recipe.

Preparing a Fiesta Salad is simple and quick and takes no more time than preparing all the veggies that go into the salad. Once that’s done, all the ingredients need to be mixed together, seasoned appropriately and dressed as per choice. Refrigeration for at least 12 hours is the key for best results with this salad. While there may be innumerable ways of preparing the Fiesta Salad some interesting recipes are detailed-

Light Summer Fiesta Salad

Ingredients and Preparation

Baby spinach, gently steamed yellow corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado slices, feta cheese and chopped dry roasted almonds form the main salad ingredients which are roughly chopped and mixed in a bowl. An Avocado Lime Dressing is made using juice of 1 fresh lime, olive oil, fresh avocado, honey, a dash of salt and pepper. These ingredients are pureed together in a blender/food processor until smooth avocado paste is formed. This is spread over the salad and enjoyed.


Rice & Bean Fiesta Salad:

To make for a more well-rounded meal, ingredients like brown rice, black beans, jalapeno peppers, cider vinegar and other seasonings may be used. Cooked brown rice/wild rice, fresh/frozen corn kernels, boiled black beans, sliced green onions, jalapeno peppers are mixed together in a bowl. Dressing is made by whisking together canola oil, cider vinegar, chili powder, lime juice, molasses or honey, ground cumin, salt and pepper. The dressing is poured on top of the salad and tossed to coat well before refrigerating for at least 12 hours.

Nutritive Value

A serving of ~ 165 g supplies-

• 249.7 calories with 71 calories from fat

• Total Fat content is 7.9 g with 0.7 g saturated fat,

• Cholesterol content is 0.0 mg

• Sodium content is 228.0 mg and Potassium 393.0 mg

• Total carbohydrate content is 40.6 g with dietary fibre content of 6.0 g and 0.8 g sugars.

• Protein content is 7.3 g.

The presence of both beans and rice makes for a more complete protein diet by complementing each other’s amino acid profile. Cider vinegar and lime juice act as detoxifiers while the good amount of fibre ensures healthy bowel movements.

Other Variations

Chicken Fiesta Salad- Boneless chicken is grilled with a coating of fajita seasoning using a drizzle of olive oil. Mixed beans, corn and salsa is tossed with the same Fajita seasoning. This mixture can be used to dress the prepared chicken once it is placed over a bed of mixed salad greens, onions, and tomatoes as the base. With these additions the calories per serving would be 311, 6.4 g total fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 1606 mg sodium, 42.2 g carbohydrates, with 10.5 g dietary fibre and protein value of 23 g.

Fruit and Veggie Fiesta Salad- Pineapple fruit pieces can be added to the salad and pineapple juice can be used in the dressing. The fruit is a good source of Vitamin C which boosts immunity; Manganese that maintains bone health, assists in wound healing, regulates blood glucose and the powerful enzyme Bromelain. Bromelain acts as an efficient digestive aid and delivers anti-inflammatory properties that benefit conditions like arthritis.