Mexicali Chopped Superfood Salad

Summer may be drawing to a close, but warm weather produce (tomatoes, corn, peppers and the like) will be with us just a bit longer. Thank goodness! Delicious, filled with fiber, vitamin-packed and antioxidant-rich, summer veggies make healthful eating fun and easy.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy August’s bounty is in a chopped salad. Maybe it’s all those years spent in California, but Mexicali food is a real favorite and the inspiration behind this simple dish. I love packing this into containers and toting it to a picnic or using it for a workday lunch. But it also makes a great accompaniment to barbecued food or sandwiches.

Please make this salad your own by adding animal protein if you’d like. Or changing up the beans. Or adding other veggies. Or swapping the seeds for your favorite nuts. Or even adding cumin or chipotle to the dressing. Enjoy!


Chopped Mexicali Superfood Salad

Makes 2 servings


2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice or red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce

Raw corn kernels from one ear corn

Optional: ½ to 1 whole red pepper, diced
Optional: 1/4 cup or more chopped red onion

2 cups cooked black beans (you can use a 15-ounce can)

1 cup chopped plum tomatoes (or one cup very well-drained organic canned tomatoes)

2 tablespoons cilantro (use parsley and/or chives if you don’t like cilantro)

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or pepitas (green, hull-less pumpkin seeds) raw or toasted

½ to 1 avocado, diced and squirted with lemon or lime juice to preserve green color


1. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to make salad dressing. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, corn, optional pepper, optional red onion, black beans, tomato and cilantro. If taking to work, portion salad into two large airtight containers.

3. Spoon avocado and sunflower seeds to top of salad.

4. Serve dressing on the side. If taking the salad to work, put dressing in a small airtight container. (I love the Rubbermade Lunch Box Salad Container and the Sistema To Go  Salad Container for keeping lunchtime salads fresh.)


Want more summer recipes? Check out Summer Food: New Summer Classics by Paul Lowe

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