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Monday, August 15, 2011

chipotle roasted vegetable layered salad

here's another delicious way to eat some roasted veggies. i love cafe rio-style salads more than almost any food on this earth (except cheeseburgers, i've made that confession before). mexi-style salads with beans, rice, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cilantro lime ranch dressing.... and now chipotle roasted veggies - all over a warm, toasted, cheesy tortilla.

i may even like this better than the meat in these salads. and when you roll up the tortilla at the end with the leftovers still in the tortilla after the lettuce is gone, the flavors are just perfect.

chipotle roasted vegetable layered salad
cilantro lime rice
ala a friend of the skinny bovine

3 cups cooked white rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

pulse cilantro, onions, lime juice, salt and oil in blender, scrapping down the sides as needed, until well combined. fold mixture into warm rice.

chipotle roasted veggies
from perry's plate

1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 poblano pepper, cut into matchsticks (i used green here once and it was great!)
1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 medium onion, halved and sliced very thinly
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
3 T olive oil
1-2 tsp minced or pureed chipotles in adobo sauce (see note here)
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

place all sliced vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet. in a small bowl whisk together the oil, chipotles, and cumin. pour over the vegetables and sprinkle a pinch or two of salt and pepper, to taste. using your hands, toss the vegetables in the oil mixture and ensure that everything is coated well. spread evenly in the pan and roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so and shaking the pan to redistribute the vegetables evenly.

black beans
from perry's plate

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of salt
1/2 cup salsa or pico de gallo

to prepare the beans, place the drained and rinsed beans in a small saucepan with about 2-3 tablespoons of water. stir in cumin, salsa, and season to taste. let them simmer over medium heat until they're heated through.

i posted this dressing below a few years ago, but i've since refined it a bit by thinning it with salsa verde and milk. i've tried a few of the tomatillo-based cafe rio-style dressings and still like this one better!

cilantro lime ranch dressing
ala skinny bovine

1 1/3 cup fat free sour cream
3/4 cup low fat mayo
1 bunch cilantro
1 package ranch dressing mix
4 tablespoons salsa verde (green salsa)
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon tabasco sauce (or more to taste if you want it spicier)
juice of 1 lime

blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. thin to your liking with milk and more salsa verde and blend again.

putting it all together...
toast a tortilla on your stove top in a pan. flip the tortilla and spread cheese to melt on the other side. when cheese is melted remove from heat.

on the tortilla, place a spoonful of rice, beans and roasted veggies. top with lettuce to your liking. add cilantro lime ranch dressing and any other toppings you desire - sour cream, guacamole, tortilla strips, etc.

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healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!