Sunday, July 1, 2012

Full-Meal Chipotle Chop Salad

I'm not a huge salad fan. I used to assume vegans/vegetarians ate salad most of the time because...what else could they eat? Now that I've joined their ranks, I realize that you can eat tons of vegetables and rarely eat salad. Although I'm not anti-salad by any means, I just don't usually feel like they fill me up or taste great enough to make it a daily habit. Cafe Rio salads are an exception. And guess what - I found a way to get that Cafe Rio filled-up-from-salad-feeling without leaving my house!

This is a delicious recipe - we had it for lunch the other day and it was so good. Lots of protein from the beans and quinoa, and plenty of good flavor to go with the veggies. I can guarantee we'll be eating this salad many times in the future!

Oh, and one more plus is the homemade salad dressing. SO much better than the preservative-laden bottled stuff, and dirt cheap to make!

Full-Meal Chipotle Chop Salad with Agave-Lime Vinaigrette

adapted from Chloe Cooks

Agave-Lime Vinaigrette

1.5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. agave
1/8 c. (or 2 Tbsp) fresh lime juice (about the juice of 1 lime)

Chipotle Chop Salad

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic)
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder (different than regular chili powder!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces (I lay mine on the cutting board and slice it with a pizza cutter!)
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped (we used more than this because we love red onion - use as desired)
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
1/2 c. cooked quinoa
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

To make the Agave-Lime Vinaigrette: Blend oil, vonegar, agave, and lime juice in blender until smooth. Set aside.

To make Chipotle Chop Salad: Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat and saute black beans, garlic, chipotle powder, and salt for 5 minutes. Let cool. (So much better than eating straight cold beans from the can - I promise it's worth this step!!)

In large bowl, combine romaine, tomatoes, onions, avocado, quinoa, black bean mixture, and cilantro. Toss with dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a meal and 6 as a side. But please, serve it as a meal!


  1. This looks so yummy! I love Chipotle!

  2. I just added this to my weekly menu, thanks Steph!!!