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Monday, July 23, 2012

Vegan Santa Fe Salad

Hey Lovelies!

Whoa!  Is it really the last full week of July already?

How has your Summer been going?  I hope you have been enjoying the blissfully long, hot days of the season and that you have been wearing sunscreen!  V.V. has been slathering herself in Green Beaver and stuffing her face at Summer festivals across the Prairies: had delish chocolate hemp iced lattes every morning at Winnipeg FolkFest from Jonnie's Sticky Buns (Please check them out!  They have insane vegan cinny buns and gluten free buns too!); also at FolkFest, I wolfed down yummy vegan hot dogs from Mondragon right before the Bahamas concert (Please check him out, too!  Amazing singer/songwriter/guitar player!); and ATM and I checked out the Taste of Edmonton Festival and noshed on outrageously yummy vegan eats from Padmandi last week.

Next on my Summer eating itinerary is Folklorama, but alas, it's not for another few weeks.  Until then, I will be left to my own devices in the kitchen. . .

On a sweltering hot day last week, unable to bring myself to turn on the stove, I made myself a beautiful, colourful, flavorful salad with some gorgeous Summer produce.  Summer is the season when fruits and veggies are in their PRIME so take advantage and enjoy them while their flavour is top notch!  This salad serves one or two hungry, hungry hippos as a main or maybe four or so as a side.  Double the recipe and bring it to the next backyard BBQ you go to!

Santa Fe Salad
-Four or five big hand fulls of organic baby spinach
- Three or four hand fulls of organic romaine, chopped into bite sized pieces OR you can use a few hand fulls of organic 'spring greens' 
- 1 ear of fresh corn, husks and silk removed  
- 1 large, ripe avocado, diced
-1 large, ripe tomato, diced
-1/4 cup medjool dates, diced (you can use dried figs or raisins too)
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans (if they are the canned variety, rinse 'em well!)
-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
-5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tbsp fresh lime juice
-1 tsp agave syrup
-1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- a few dashes of your fave hot sauce
-a pinch cinnamon (trust me)

If you happen to know how to use a barbeque:  Brush the ear of corn with some olive oil and season with a little S&P and maybe some cayenne pepper if you like a little spice.  Grill the corn on the BBQ on high heat, turning every few minutes until it has lovely grill marks all over it.  

If you are afraid of the BBQ (you're not alone) or do not have access to one:  Rub down the corn in the same manner as above with oil S&P and cayenne, if using, and sear it in a hot cast iron skillet until it has some nice brown colour on it on all sides.

Stand the corn up, flat end down, in a large bowl.  Holding the top of the corn with one hand, use a knife in the other to slice off the kernels, starting at the top and sawing downwards.      

Let's make some dressing, shall we?

Whisk the dressing ingredients together vigorously.  Taste, season with S&P, taste again.  Re season if necessary.  Set aside.

And now for the main attraction. . .
Your corn kernels should be sitting in a large bowl, large enough for some serious salad tossing. . . so let's go!  Add all other salad ingredients to the bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss (you don't want to squish the avocados/beans/tomatoes into a big mush pile!) until everything is well covered with dressing.  

If you want the salad to look pretty and plated instead of tossed, mix your greens together in a large bowl with half the dressing, set on a plate, top with remaining salad ingredients to your liking and drizzle with the rest of the dressing.

If you're feeling a little naughty, or craving a little crunch, top the salad with crushed corn tortilla chips.  I love La Cocina tortilla chips.  They are paper thin, salty, addictive, and made right here in Manitoba <3

I have lots more yummy recipes to share before the Summer is up. . . until then, stay cool babes!




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