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Southwest Salad with Green Magic Sauce

Okay I have a confession to make – I’m OBSESSED with Chipotle. Not the spice, (though I do love that too) but the fresh, fast and delicious restaurant chain. Upon opening its doors in Vancouver (finally!) about a year and a bit ago I’ve been a regular at their Downtown location. Basically I’m the Diane Chambers to their Cheers.

If you’ve never been to a Chipotle, think of a way healthier, fresher, Mexican Subway. AKA awesome. But this post is not a love letter to Chipotle, but rather a big thank you to one of my favourite food blogs, Pinch of Yum. Who made my life when they posted a recipe for an incredible Spicy Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing that rivals Chipotle’s burrito bowl; which is what I get whenever I’m there.

I didn’t think it was possible to out Chipotle, Chipotle. But this recipe does it. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that it blows it out of the water. ????

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  • It’s healthy
  • Fresh
  • Brimming with flavour
  • And colourful



It’s also super easy to make; which is a massive coo after a busy workday. Or any day, really.

I changed up my recipe slightly from the one that Lindsay, (the author of Pinch of Yum) posted by adding fresh purple cabbage, grape tomatoes, and grilled cumin lime steak to up the health/protein factor. I also switched out the avocado dressing that the recipe originally called for for a badass Green Magic sauce that I also found on Pinch of Yum’s blog. And let me tell you, this dressing really is magic.

Whether you’re a Chipotle fan or not, this recipe is a “must make.”

Give it a go!


Southwest Salad with Green Magic Sauce

Makes 4 servings


For the salad
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  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each cumin and chili powder (plus a sprinkle of cayenne if you like it hot)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-ounce can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 fresh baby spinach or romaine hearts, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved



For the steak

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  • 2 strip loin steaks, pounded (to up the tenderness factor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • avocado oil, for pan-frying



For the dressing

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  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lime
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pistachios



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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Season your steak with cumin, chili powder, and a good amount of salt and pepper, then drizzle with a bit of oil and let rest.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-sized pieces. Mix the olive oil, cumin, and chili powder together in a small bowl. Toss your sweet potatoes in the mixture (I used a mixing bowl) then pour out onto a baking dish. Roast for 10 minutes, then stir or shake the pan so that your potatoes cook evenly. Turn the heat up to 425, and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Check, stir, and bake until the sweet potatoes are just barely roasty-brown on the outside. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, pulse all the dressing ingredients—except pistachios—in a food processor until mostly smooth. Once blended, add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth. It depends on what consistency you want.
  • Heat your pan to a high heat. Once hot, add oil and coat your pan. Add your steaks, grilling 1-minute per side, flipping regularly. Once they’re cooked to your liking, squeeze lime juice over them and let sizzle for a second or two. Remove from heat and place on your cutting board. Let rest for about 5-minutes before slicing.
  • In a separate bowl, toss your beans and corn with the dressing.
  • To serve, line the bottom of your bowl with spinach (or lettuce if using). Top with sliced red cabbage, sweet potatoes, your bean and corn mixture, tomatoes and steak then drizzle with your green magic dressing. Voila!
  • Serve with chips and/or the other half of the avocado for extra creaminess. ????



This dish was inspired by the fantastic Spicy Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing recipe found on Pinch of Yum.


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