• Southwestern-Style Bean & Avocado Salad (gluten free, dairy free)

    by Jon on July 7, 2010 · 19 comments

    Salad dressing can make or break a salad, don’t you agree?

    I’ve made this salad three times in the last two days. And I’ll probably make it again tomorrow! I LOVE THIS SALAD!!! Actually, it’s the dressing that I’m mad about. In fact, I’m totally not ashamed to tell you that each time, after I finished every last bite of salad, I licked the plate clean.

    The flavors in the dressing are clean and crisp and sweet and hot, all at the same time. The recipe is from a May 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine, with the original list of ingredients including shrimp, sour cream, and baked store-bought chips. Shrimp doesn’t do it for me, I don’t eat dairy, and it’s so easy to make homemade tortilla chips that I couldn’t bear to pay for store-bought ones. Plus, the whole cross contamination thing skeeves me out. Oh yeah, and I didn’t have chipotle hot sauce, but I picked up a tiny jar of Melinda’s Original Fire Roasted Habanero Pepper Sauce at TJ Maxx (check them out for GREAT gourmet foodstuffs), and that did the trick. The recipe called for grilling the corn which would’ve been fab, but instead, I boiled and shucked it.

    I made a few adaptations to the original recipe. The first time I made it, I was down the cape (that’s the New England way of saying “I went to Cape Cod.”). My sister-in-law invited us over for a 4th of July picnic. She is the most gracious of hosts, but I don’t eat BBQ Pork Tenderloin. Thankfully, she didn’t mind that I brown-bagged it. Instead of shrimp, I crumbled up a veggie burger in the first incarnation of my salad (can’t remember who makes them, but I got them in the produce section of the supermarket, and they are gluten free.) The second time and third time I made it, I skipped the veggie burgers and just topped the salad with black beans. Totally fine, totally delicious, totally filling.

    Southwestern-Style Bean & Avocado Salad
    1 large serving

    click here for printable recipe

    2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1 tsp maple syrup
    1 tsp chipotle hot sauce (this is what I used)

    Salad Ingredients:
    1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
    1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (or crumbled veggie burger)
    1 ear corn, boiled, shucked, and chilled
    1/4 cup chopped scallions
    2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    Handful grape tomatoes
    2 tbsp chopped avocado

    Handful baked tortilla chips (recipe explained below)

    Combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, maple syrup and hot sauce in a small bowl. Stir with a whisik.

    In a medium bowl, combine salad ingredients. Add desired amount of dressing and toss.

    Serve with baked tortilla chips.

    Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

    1 package corn tortillas (make sure they’re gluten free)
    olive oil
    sea salt

    Lightly brush one corn tortilla with oil and then sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with remaining tortillas, stacking them as you finish brushing each one. If you want really symmetrical tortilla chips, cut the pile of oiled tortillas (first in half, then in half again etc., until you have triangle shaped chips). Place brushed tortilla pieces in a jelly roll pan. Bake 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check periodically for desired crispness.

    Optionally, instead of cutting wedges out of the tortilla stack, you can lay each brushed tortilla on the baking sheet and bake as above. When they’re done to your liking, you can break the tortillas into smaller pieces.

    Spring Onion on FoodistaSpring Onion

    { 18 comments… read them below or add one }

    Heather July 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I think with a dressing like that, I'd be licking the plate too! I've been in a salad rut lately, so I think your recipe is just what I need to pry myself out of it. Thank you!


    gfe--gluten free easily July 8, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Oh, that does sound good, Ellen … and it looks great! I am always looking for great homemade salad dressings and I love everything in the salad. Yum! 🙂



    Alisa July 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I love veggies, but really, isn't it always the salad dressing that makes it?


    Aubree Cherie July 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Ooo, the dressing sounds awesome! I love the mix of sweet, savory, and spicy – and it seems like the dressing is a perfect blend of those. Tasty tasty 🙂

    ~Aubree Cherie


    Amy B. July 9, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I agree with Alisa. Also, I always find it interesting when the dish has a hint of chili or hotness in it. And this salad dressing definitely did catch my eye. Another thing is I love avocados! So I sure will be trying this out real soon. Can't wait really!

    Anyway, if you don't mind I would like to guide other Foodista readers to this recipe. Just add the foodista widget for scallions as it's one of the ingredients, at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

    Please keep it up! 😀


    Sanjeeta kk July 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Love the healthy spread of beans. Nice to be here. best wishes.


    Anonymous July 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    what beans do you use? because i know facilities that process beans have cross contamination issues? please let me know…i miss beans!


    Ingrid July 12, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    This looks great! Salad dressing always makes or breaks the salad!


    Tasty Eats At Home July 13, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    This looks amazing! I'm all about southwestern flavors – and anything with avocado!


    Sophie July 16, 2010 at 7:31 am


    What a tasty bean & avocado salad!!

    I also love the home baked tortilla chips!


    beyondriceandtofu.com July 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Yummy! The dressing sounds great, might have to try it. I get CL mag too and I probably have this page corner already turned down.


    offmotorway July 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    You're right, the dressing looks amazing, and I'm always on the lookout for a good salad dressing!


    Gift Baskets July 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Fantastic Recipe! My entire family enjoyed this and I even blogged your link on my blog. Thank you again for such a great dinner.


    I Am Gluten Free July 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Heather, Shirley, Alisa, Aubree, Amy, Sanjeeta, Ingrid, Tasty Eats At Home, beyondriceandtofu, and offmotorway – thank you all for your comments! This recipe has already been added to our regular rotation! I know you'll love it too!

    Anonymous – I tend to use Eden canned beans because the lining on the inside of the cans doesn't have the bad chemical that many can linings have. I can't remember the name of it, but if you're interested, google it.



    FibroHubby August 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Since my wife went gluten free I think our avocado usage has tripled


    Christine September 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Hi! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. One of the things I love the most about visiting great blogs like yours is I get to not only see food I've never seen prepared before, but you get to read about how they taste. Love it….. & now I'm hungry …. again 🙂 By the way a busy mom like me doesn’t have much time surfing online to look for great food blog like this, so I rely on Foodista Widget. So please keep adding those lovely widget to every blog you made so moms like me can view your post efficiently. Thanks!


    Ronalyn Hurley April 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    The dressing was wonderful with the salad ingredients. Really delicious. Thank you for posting it.


    Ellen April 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Hey Ronalyn – so glad you liked it!!!!


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