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Mexican tortilla salad a spicy summer dish [Tribune News Service :: BC-QUICKFIX:MCT]

Hot Mexican spices make this one-dish salad a great summer meal. Crisp tortilla chips, which you can make in a few minutes in the toaster oven, add a spicy crunch. If you're pressed for time, buy baked - not fried - tortilla chips instead.

You can use any quick-cooking beef, chicken or tuna for this recipe. For a really quick meal, use any leftover meat you have on hand or buy roast beef or cooked chicken at the deli counter. Toss it in some cumin before adding to the salad.

Helpful Hints:

- Any type of washed, ready-to-eat lettuce can be used.

- Tortilla chips take 5 minutes to bake in a toaster oven. If you don't have one, bake them in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes.

- A quick way to chop cilantro is to snip the leaves with a scissors.

To defrost corn, place in a microwave oven for 1 minute or place the corn in a colander and run under warm water.

Countdown:

- Make tortilla chips.

- Prepare lettuce, tomatoes and corn.

- Saute meat.

- Make dressing and toss salad.

Shopping List:

Here are the ingredients you'll need for tonight's Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 small package 6-inch corn tortillas, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, 1 tomato, 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, 1 package frozen corn, 1/2 pound steak (skirt, flank, sirloin, strip, fillet), 2 medium jalapeno peppers and 1 small sourdough bread or French baguette.

Staples: vegetable oil spray, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, canola oil, reduced-sodium oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

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MEXICAN TORTILLA SALAD

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

Vegetable oil spray

2 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted

8 cups washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce

1 1/2-cups diced ripe tomato

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 pound steak (skirt, flank, sirloin, strip, fillet)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

2 tablespoons seeded, chopped jalapeno peppers

Small sourdough bread or French baguette

Line a toaster-oven baking tray (or tray for oven) with foil. Spray with vegetable oil spray. Place tortilla squares on tray, spray with vegetable oil spray and sprinkle with cayenne. Toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place corn, lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro in a salad bowl.

Remove visible fat from steak and cut into 1/2-inch by 2-inch strips. Toss meat in 1 tablespoon cumin. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and saute meat 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add to the salad bowl. In a small bowl, mix salad dressing with jalapenos. Pour dressing over salad and toss well.

Serve the salad in the bowl or spoon it onto a large serving platter. Sprinkle with tortilla squares. Serve with bread.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 610 calories (31 percent from fat), 21.1 g fat (5 g saturated, 11.3 g monounsaturated), 76 mg cholesterol, 36.5 g protein, 71.4 g carbohydrates, 11.5 g fiber, 264 mg sodium.

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(c)2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of "Delicious One-Pot Dishes," featuring 60 recipes designed to be stewed, braised, slow-cooked or steamed, each in a single pot. Additional titles by Gassenheimer include "Quick and Easy Chicken," "Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals," "Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table" and "The Flavors of the Florida Keys." Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email: linda@dinnerinminutes.com)

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