I haven’t always been a fan of world cuisine. When I was a kid, the most exotic I would get is eating a tin of pasta shapes, a far cry from the range of Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai and now Mexican food that I love. I think an appreciation of spicy flavours can come with age, although I know plenty of kids that love their curries! Right now Mexican inspired dishes are some of my favourite foods. I certainly don’t profess to being an expert in Mexican food, or having tried a great deal of dishes. All I do know is I love chilli, burritos, enchiladas and tacos as well as simple tortilla chips and salsa. Add avocado to any of those and I’m sold.
I’ve featured this salad a few times on the blog but have never properly shared how I make them. After lots of requests I thought it was about time! I guess this is kind of like a lightened up deconstructed taco. I love the mix of crunchy salted corn chips, creamy avocado, mild salsa and spicy beans, all lightened up with a base of crunchy shredded romaine lettuce.
This is vegan, but you could easily make this with taco beef instead of beans and add other none vegan ingredients such as greek yoghurt or sour cream and grated cheese. I made a very basic guacamole and used a jarred mild salsa, but of course you can just add sliced avocado or make up a proper guacamole and use fresh salsa.
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- 1 tin of red kidney beans
- 2 small red onions
- 1 red pepper
- 1-2 tsp taco seasoning or hot chilli powder (taco seasoning may not be vegan depending on brand)
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- half jar of salsa
- 2 handfuls of plain tortilla chips
- sliced jalapeños (optional)
- Drain the kidney beans and add to a pan along with the seasoning. De seed and chop the pepper and finely slice one of the onions and add to the pan along with the seasoning mix. Simmer until the peppers and onions have softened.
- Make the guacamole my mashing the avocado with the juice from a lime, a pinch of salt and the other red onion finely sliced. Wash and shred the lettuce and divide between two bowls, then top each bowl with a handful of crumbled tortilla chips.
- Divide the warm spicy bean mix between each bowl and pile on top of the lettuce and tortillas, then add a dollop of guacamole followed by a few spoonfuls of salsa. Top with some sliced jalapeños if desired and tuck in!
- To keep this as healthy as possible look for plain tortilla chips which just contain corn, oil and salt. I use store brand jarred salsa, most of which contain a little sugar but they are my fave! Feel free to replace with your own fresh salsa or a shop bought fresh salsa.
Blue corn chips would also work so well with this and just add more colour to the dish.
Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favourite dish? How do you lighten up traditional recipes?