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Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Chili-Lime Broiled Salmon Salad

January 25, 2017
Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

Hello dear hearts! What’s for dinner? Oh, that again. Here’s a constant dinner companion that I have up my sleeve for when I do not want to think about dinner but I must because I decided about 9 years ago to feed and protect. Salmon salad.

It sounds simple enough, and it is, but is also a genius solution because it can be basically anything you want. Follow along below if you’d like to make this exact recipe but you really only need a fillet of salmon, some lettuce, and dressing to make salmon salad for dinner.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

This is a standard at Casa Ramos because there are only a handful of dinner options that all four of us get excited about and salmon salad is one of them.

Spaghetti and meatballs is another although Louisa only eats the meatballs and Hiro only eats the pasta. Roasted chicken is another, but honestly Louisa’s not a huge fan. But salmon salad that’s a winner. Both kids love the salmon, lettuce, and if I add tomatoes, or cucumbers well they REALLY love that but even more of a bonus is I can add roasted butternut squash or potatoes and just put them on the plates that want them. I can also try something new, like these fresh garbanzo beans, and the kids will be so happy about the other stuff happening on their plates that they don’t complain one iota.

chili-lime salmon salad recipe @holajalapeno

Speaking of these garbanzo beans they are delicate and delicious raw versions of the dried or canned chick peas you are familiar with.

I picked some up last weekend at the Mexican market even though I had no idea what to do with them. There was a scrum of overzealous women hoarding the pile of fuzzy green pods and shoveling them into bags with such fervor that I knew they were something not be missed.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

After asking around on Instagram I realized they are best eaten charred, skin and all, on the comal with a little butter and salt and then the beans are finagled out with your teeth edamame style—a street snack eaten in Mexico AND Israel!

For the salad, I removed the beans from the shell and roasted them along with the salmon to get the same toasty effect but one you could eat with a fork. If you can’t find fresh garbanzo beans you can substitute canned beans, drained and rinsed, tossed with a little olive oil, salt and some of the chili-lime mixture you use for the salmon. Cook them the same as the fresh beans, broiled with the salmon fillet.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad Recipe

Chili-Lime Broiled Salmon Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A main-course salmon salad with roasted butternut squash, pepitas, crunchy Romaine lettuce, broiled chili-lime salmon and fresh garbanzo beans.
Serves: 4
For the Vinaigrette:
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions (green part only)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Chili-Lime Mixture
  • 3 limes zested
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
For the Butternut Squash:
  • 2 pounds peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salmon:
  • 1½ pounds salmon fillet, rinsed, patted dry, and pin bones removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salad:
  • 1 pound fresh garbanzo beans, peeled
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup pepitas (roasted, salted pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
To Make the Vinaigrette:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
To Make the Chili-Lime Mixture:
  1. Combine lime zest and chili powder in a small bowl.
To Make the Butternut Squash:
  1. Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack in the upper third.
  2. Toss squash slices with oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of the chili-lime mixture. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until just tender when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes.
To Make the Salmon:
  1. Heat broiler to high.
  2. Lay salmon on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and remaining chili-lime mixture. Rub everything over the salmon so the flesh is seasoned all over.
  3. Toss fresh garbanzos with a teaspoon or so of oil and a pinch of salt and arrange around the salmon. Cut one of the limes you zested in half and squeeze the lime halves over everything.
  4. Broil salmon and beans until salmon is done to your likeness. This is going to depend on the thickness of your salmon, start checking after 4 minutes. Salmon should feel firm to the touch, but not hard and opaque. This could take anywhere from 4-10 minutes.
For the salad:
  1. Toss Romaine, pepitas, squash, cilantro leaves, and garbanzo beans with about half of the vinaigrette. Arrange on plates and divide the salmon on top of the salad. Pass remaining dressing on the table.

Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

October 18, 2016
Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

This jicama salad is a colorful combination of jicama, sugar snap peas, radishes, and red cabbage tossed with a creamy (but dairy free) poppy seed dressing.

This jicama salad is the seventh and final recipe to wrap up our Dia de los Muertos super-fiesta and thus our menu is complete. Now you have all the recipes and are ready to throw the ultimate Day of the Dead party in a couple of weeks.

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

I love the entire menu because there is something for everyone; vegan pozole, spicy chicken enchiladas, even a knock-your-socks-off chocolate pie but I dare say, I might have saved the best for last.

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

Why You’ll Want to Make This Jicama Salad

This salad is so bright and cheerful and full of crunch it is borderline addictive. And (aside from all the chopping) pretty simple to throw together. The dressing you will find yourself making again and again and putting on just about every single salad you make. It feels indulgent and creamy but is really only four ingredients and dairy-free!

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

How To Cut Matchsticks

Back to the chopping: let me assure you, you can chop these vegetables anyway you please. They do not need to be in uniform matchsticks but they sure look pretty that way and if you have little eaters matchsticks are pretty fun to eat with your fingers too. To cut vegetables into matchsticks (aka julienne), peel and cut off the top and bottom of the veggie. Cut the veg into thin (1/4-inch) thick slices, then layer the slices on top of each other and cut into 1/4-inch thick strips. This video shows what I’m talking about.

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

For more fun Day of the Dead ideas and the full menu check out this post!

A special thanks to Melissa’s Produce for all the beautiful vegetables and to Beard and Bonnet for the beautiful photos!! 

Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings

A colorful and crunchy combination of jicama, sugar snap peas, radishes, and red cabbage tossed with a creamy (but dairy free) poppy seed dressing.


    For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced
  • 4-5 radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage


    To make the dressing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a resealable jar. Cover tightly and shake until smooth. Dressing can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  2. To make the salad:
  3. Toss all the ingredients together. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve immediately.
  4. All the vegetables can be cut up to a day in advance. Keep them separated however, otherwise the red cabbage will color anything it touches. Dress the salad right before serving.

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad

August 2, 2016
Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Avocado update: Still have tons.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

I know, I know, you feel terrible for me. Thank you.

But for real, what do I do with all of these?!! Is an avocado face mask a thing? I’m very much open to and will appreciate any and all ideas. So far I’ve made ten tons of guacamole, our favorite tomatillo avocado salsa (2 quarts), added to smoothies, breakfast with eggs, toast (obvsies), I have yet to try dessert applications. And of course, salad.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Now this salad here is the real deal summer salad. We’ve got grilled chicken to keep us satisfied, sweet cherry tomatoes or you can used chopped garden tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs to keep the Cobb thing legit. Ripe, juicy peaches, fresh sweet corn which I just boiled but you could cook that on the grill too if you want. Crispy bacon and tortilla strips which I crisped in the leftover bacon grease cause it was there and why not? Note: sub tortilla chips if preferred. Aaaaannnnddd avocado.

The dressing however, is something special. Last week I made Tieghan’s Salmon Souvlaki—that was good, you should make it—but my favorite part was the marinade. Citrus juice, balsamic, paprika, fresh herbs. I wanted to recreate it but add some queso fresco because a Cobb salad is not a Cobb salad without some sort of cheese. If you can’t find queso fresco use crumbled feta or even blue cheese instead.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Here are a few other summer salads you might want to try:

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 Servings

A main course salad that won't leave anyone hungry. Grilled chicken breast, avocado, bacon, and sweet corn all drizzled with a queso fresco vinaigrette.

Dressing inspired by Half Baked Harvest.


    For the Dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut syrup, agave syrup, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • For the salad:
  • 2 large (about 1 1/4 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut in half then cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, or chopped heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 ears cooked sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


    To Make the Dressing:
  1. Combine garlic, lemon juice, balsamic, lime juice, syrup, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Gently fold in cheese, careful not to break it up too much. Taste and add more salt if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To Make the Salad:
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  4. If chicken breast are thick, slice them in half horizontally so you have 4 pieces of chicken breast. Drizzle chicken with half of the vegetable oil and rub the grill or grill pan grates with remaining half of the oil. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes a side. Remove to a plate. Once cool enough to handle, slice into strips.
  5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon in a single layer and cook until crisp and brown on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, keeping pan over the heat. Once bacon is cool enough to handle tear into pieces.
  6. Add tortilla strips to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Remove them to a separate paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Arrange romaine lettuce on a large platter or divide between 4 large plates. Top with arugula, tomatoes, eggs, chicken, bacon, tortilla strips, corn, peaches, and avocado. Drizzle dressing over the top and serve.

Apps, Drinks, Mains, Recipes, Salads, Sandwiches, Snacks

30 Memorial Day Recipes To Get You Through The Weekend

May 26, 2016
Memorial Day Recipes


The long weekend is almost here!! You got plans? Whether your lounging by the pool or grilling in the backyard, I’ve got 30 recipes that you are going to love. From snacks to sweets these recipes are summer party ready, almost all can be made ahead, and most are pretty easy to pull off, leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the official kick-off to summer!

Have a great weekend everybody!!

30 Memorial Day Recipes



30 Memorial Day Recipes



30 memorial day recipes



30 Memorial Day Recipes

On the Grill


30 Memorial Day Recipes

Salads and Sides


30 Memorial Day RecipesSweets

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing

May 13, 2016
Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

¡Hola! This post is sponsored by Society Culinaria and Flatout Bread. The recipe and opinions however are all mine. Thanks so much for supporting the business that makes this blog possible!

As soon as the days get hot two things spontaneously happen in our house. Shirts come off (I’m talking about the children here), jorts go on, and every meal becomes instantly better when eaten outside.

Salpicon Fattoush Recipe

We had our first al fresco dinner of the year this week. It hasn’t been consistently warm enough to warrant taking the picnic table out of the garage so it was a hodgepodge of benches, miniature kids chairs, and stools circled up with some of us balancing plates on our laps, but it was glorious. There’s just something about feeling a warm breeze that makes all food taste better.

We were eating burgers but I wish I had come up with this salad for the occasion. It has turned cold again and I’m anxious to test my salad to see if its flavor improves if eaten outside on a blanket in the back yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

When Flatout asked me to come up with some recipes using their breads I wanted to make something you are going to want put together again and again all summer long. I took something inherently Mexican (Salpicón de Carne) and combine it with something else I truly love, in this case, a Lebanese salad called Fattoush made with toasted flatbread. It is a salad meant as a blank canvas that will adapt to whatever produce is at it’s peak as the season progresses. Fresh sugar snap peas and spinach would be great right now and heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn would be equally good in August.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

Flatout Artisan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust makes a delicious, homemade pizza in minutes but the crust is a platform for so much more. It is also low in fat, a good source of fiber, and and available practically anywhere. If you’re not sure where to find it click here to locate a grocery store near you that carries it.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

For this salad I cut the crust into triangles and tossed them with a little olive oil and salt and toasted them in the oven until they were golden and crisp. This little stint in the oven gives them the stamina they need to be tossed with the veggies, steak, and dressing and make it to your picnic spot without getting soggy. Even if it is right out the back door into the yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recips

Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8

If you think ahead rub the flank steak with the chile seasoning up to a day in advance. Steak can also be grilled instead of roasted if you prefer.


    For the Steak:
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the Flatbread Crisps:
  • 1 (10-ounce) package Flatout Artisan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Chipotle Dressing:
  • 2 chipotles en adobo, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. For the Steak:
  3. Lay meat on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is an even thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet and rub all over with the tablespoon of oil.
  4. Combine garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a bowl then rub steak with the mixture on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  5. For the Flatbread Crisps:
  6. Cut the flatbread into small triangles and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt then toss to coat the crisps in oil. Lay out in a flat layer and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven up to 450°F.
  8. For the Dressing:
  9. Combine all the ingredients in a sealable jar. Seal tightly and shake until combined.
  10. For the Salad:
  11. Once oven is hot, roast meat until cooked to desired doneness; about 5 minutes for rare and 10 minutes for medium-well. Let sit about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  12. Meanwhile toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and onion in a large bowl with the flatbread crisps and dressing. Arrange on a large platter and top with sliced steak, avocado, and feta.

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Top

Roasted Beet Salad with Green Chiles and Lime

March 14, 2016
Roasted Beet Salad Recipe

Have you watched the much discussed episode of Black-ish? That show is real but this episode is like for real, real. I cried. A lot. Armando said we shouldn’t have watched it but I’m glad we did. I highly encourage you to watch it if you haven’t. If you have, what did you think?

Roasted Beet Salad with Lime Recipe

The most upsetting parts for me, the parts I haven’t been able to shake, were the scenes highlighting the hope and joy surrounding President Obama’s election. I was flooded with sadness of all that optimism wasted, our current climate making it all the more poignant.

Roasted Beet Salad with Lime Recipe

Don’t think it also didn’t dawn on me the jubilance of that election is now being matched with the anger and hatred of this election. How passionate all us Obama supporters were, believing that he could bring real change. He was going to bring all sides together in harmony or at least understanding and compassion. We were filled to the brim with optimism. Unfortunately this is the same level of passion Trump supporters have but instead of love and hope its filled with hostility and even violence. How far we’ve fallen in eight years. It all has me feeling so incredibly sad for us as Americans and we still have a long way to go till November.

Roasted Beet Salad with Lime Recipe

I know you don’t come here to read about political views so I’ll move on to something that might lift our spirits or at least distract for a while. Which is beets and the fact that we are in the very final days of winter.

Roasted Beet Salad with Lime Recipe

I love this salad for it’s bright contrast of color; the dark ruby beets bouncing off the verdant green chiles, and sprinkling of cilantro. The flavors are a play in asymmetry as well; earthy with tart, spicy and sweet. This would make a beautiful salad on the Easter table and an easy one to make and get out of the way. You can make this salad up to an hour or two in advance then cover and just let sit at room temperature until you’re ready to eat.

Roasted Beet Salad with Lime Recipe

Roasted Beet Salad with Green Chiles and Lime

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 1/2 pounds small beets (about 14 beets), scrubbed, topped, and tailed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 jalapeños, divided
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning.


  1. Heat oven 400°F.
  2. Place clean, dried, unpeeled beets in a baking dish big enough so they fit in a single layer. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over beets and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss until the beets are coated in oil. Cover with foil and roast 40 minutes or until a knife easily slides through.
  3. Let sit, covered, until cool enough to handle, about 1 hour.
  4. Using a pairing knife, scrape the skin off the beets. Quarter each beet and place in a medium bowl.
  5. Mince 2 of the jalapeños, removing the seeds if you'd like it less spicy. Add the minced jalapeño to the bowl with the beets. Thinly slice the third jalapeño lengthwise and set aside.
  6. Add remaining tablespoon of oil, scallions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and teaspoon of salt to the beets and toss to combine. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if needed.
  7. Arrange beets on a platter and sprinkle with sliced jalapeño and cilantro leaves.

Recipes, Salads

10 Recipes to Try This Week

January 17, 2016
Vincent Price Cooking

What’s your week look like? Ours looks bitterly cold so I’m planning on making all sorts of cozy, comforting food to keep our bellies warm.

I want cozy and comforting but I don’t want so-full-of-fat-and-carbs-that-I-immediatley-fall-asleep (the dark evenings, cold weather, and the whole being a mother thing take care of that).

In other words these ideas are really speaking to me. They are (for the most part) dairy free (and/or) gluten free (and/or) loaded with fresh veggies (and/or) a cocktail, you know….healthy-ish.

I’m loving all these recipes this week…what are you making?

  1. Loaded Falafel Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking
  2. Huevos Rancheros with Charred Kale, Tomatoes, and Crispy Garlic Chickpeas from Artful Desparado
  3. Jacques Pepin’s Slow-Cooked Roast Beef from New York Times
  4. Asian Garlic Noodles from Damn Delicious
  5. Crispy Honey Balsamic Chicken Wings from Heather Christo
  6. Kale and Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad from A House in the Hills
  7. Roasted Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili from Good Life Eats
  8. Creamy Coconut Cashew Spaghetti Squash “Alfredo” with Roasted Cauliflower from Half Baked Harvest
  9. Garibaldi Cocktail from Honestly YUM
  10. Southwestern Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet from Host the Toast


Image from Frank Barratt/Keystone / Getty Images

Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes, Salads

White Cheddar Cornbread and Bacon Panzanella

August 5, 2015

We are back from Dallas. It was…..I don’t know, hot. Like holy crap, hot! You Southerners have an intense heat tolerance, I bow down to you. I was sweating the moment I stepped out of the airport, I’m pretty sure it was 110°F at midnight. What do they call that? Oh yeah….sultry.

Cheddar Cornbread Panzanella

No, it was fun. For the first time ever Louisa got to celebrate her birthday with all of her 13 cousins—that water balloon fight was on. We ate amazingly delicious burgers at Rodeo Goat—I had a little sweet corn-guajillo mayonnaise-cotija number that I’ll be recreating at home with a quickness, aaaaand got in tons of family time, so all-in-all it was a solid vacation.

Cornbread Panzanella with Bacon

Now we’re back and my garden is bursting at the seams with all things summer so I made up this Mexican version of a summertime classic to share with you, because if there is anything that will get you in the cooking mood it’s fresh vegetables picked from your own backyard.


We’ve got homemade aged white cheddar cornbread, crispy bacon, loads of ripe tomatoes, and some charred chile strips just to keep things interesting. Top all that with a smoky bacon vinaigrette and I’m going to stop typing now, I have a feeling you’ve stopped reading and are already in the kitchen.


White Cheddar Cornbread and Bacon Panzanella Recipe


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 70 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


    For the Cornbread:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) shredded aged white cheddar
  • For the Salad:
  • 4 small jalapeños or 2 small poblanos if you would like it less spicy
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small zucchini, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup roughly chopped herbs, such as basil, tarragon, and cilantro
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    To make the Cornbread:
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Pour oil into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven to heat as the oven is heating up.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Combine buttermilk and egg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined with a rubber spatula. Add cheddar and fold until combined.
  4. Carefully remove skillet from oven and pour hot oil into batter. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Scrape batter back into skillet and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the skillet and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cornbread can be made up to a day in advance.
  6. To make the Salad:
  7. Heat the broiler to high. Lay the peppers on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the skin is charred on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Let cool, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems. Chop into large pieces and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
  8. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp. Remove pan from the heat and place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate; save the bacon grease in the pan.
  9. Cut cornbread into 1-inch cubes and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast cornbread in the oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Combine charred peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and cornbread in a large bowl.
  11. To make the Dressing:
  12. Heat the pan with the bacon grease over medium heat. Add garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Crumble bacon over salad and top with herbs. Serve immediately.


Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads

Mango-Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing and Lime Basil

May 24, 2015

We bought a house filled with junk. Is that normal, to buy a house filled with other people’s crap? When we first moved in six years ago the owner of the house was using it more or less as a storage facility for boxes of Rainex and mini blinds.

Mango-Cucmber Salad with Cayenne Vinaigrette

Much of the china doll tchotchke and cases of air freshener have been slowly removed over the years but when we agreed to buy the house last fall there were still remnants stuck in dark, damp corners of the unfinished basement. Industrial mop buckets, reels of linoleum, old peanut cans full of screws, nails, drawer pulls; they all bothered me—making me feel verklempt just looking at them—but nothing drove me more nuts than this rusty old water softener that has probably been in that basement since the beginning of time. This thing is so ridiculously large and heavy, I’m almost positive a crane dropped it in place and they built the house around it.

Mango-Cucumber Salad

Determined to once and for all be rid of the elephant in the room (literally) we gathered the beefiest friend we knew and tried to lug it up the back stairs to be towed away on town clean-up day. With our friend on the bottom and The Professor at the top they strapped it to a dolly and started up the stairs. By the second stair The Professor felt the step moan and dip and no amount of pulling was getting it any farther. Not wanting to let go and send the thing crashing to what would most likely be the middle of the earth, The Professor hollered for help. I started sprinting from house to house searching for a neighbor who could lug this thing all the way up, then when no one was answering jumped in the car and drove to the nearest friend’s house. Three men later they had finally extracted the water softener from the basement.

A week passed, clean-up day had come and gone, the pile of detritus we put out back had mostly been removed, minus one small item–the tank, gleaming in all it’s rusty glory. I ignored it, hoping the city just didn’t have enough room in their truck or maybe they just needed to get a forklift or something and they’d be back to pick it up. Another week passed and there was no sign that it would be going anywhere. As a matter of fact after a few days of rain it had started sinking into the ground, getting comfortable in it’s new spot.

Mango-Cucumber Salad with

Then Wednesday morning there was a knock on the back door. An older gentleman in a baseball cap and worn blue jeans wanted to know if I wanted that big tank that was sitting out back. Trying not to show my immense enthusiasm I said, “Nope, you can have it. But it is very heavy.” “Oh, that’s fine.” he replied, “I’ve got my trailer.” I watched out the back window, silently cheering him on. It took him about 30 minutes but that old farm boy single-handedly got that beast on his trailer and hauled it away, leaving me there, mouth agape.

Mango-Cucmber Salad with Cayenne

What this all has to do with mango salad, I haven’t a clue. But maybe spring cleaning, and mango-cucumber salads with spicy vinaigrette make us feel alive and healthy. With tomorrow being Memorial Day you could possibly be off to a picnic or cook-out in which case this would be a great salad to take along. You can make it up to an hour or two in advance and it holds up delightfully, possibly even improving, as it sits.

Have a lovely long weekend!

Mango-Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing and Lime Basil Recipe


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

This is a great picnic salad because you can make it up to 1 hour in advance and it won't wilt. If you are worried about the basil turning brown, you can slice it, wrap it in a damp paper towel then stick that in a resealable plastic bag or wrapped in some plastic wrap. Then toss it into the salad right before serving.


    For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne powder (you can add more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the salad:
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pit removed and sliced into strips
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 small bunch lime basil (or regular basil), thinly sliced


  1. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if desired.


Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Warm Cauliflower Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

April 24, 2015

I’ve started reading again. After a solid three years without finishing an entire book I suddenly found myself very sick and very sad and very bored with laying in bed all day long.

warm cauliflower

It started out well intentioned with Christine Carter’s Sweet Spot (always best to start with a self help book) which took me about a month to finish. I then picked up Melissa Bank’s Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, finishing that off in about two weeks. Leading me to the cheap and easy indulgence of Kristin Hannah’s Magic Hour, which was like a Snickers bar for the brain—easily and quickly devoured (that one took less than a week) and now I’m reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley a book whose words are so simple and beautiful I’m equal parts mesmerized and envious.

Anyway, I’m happily hooked so if you have any good book recommendations I’ll gladly take them.


As you are probably fully aware, cauliflower is apparently the star vegetable of the century (sorry kale). It can be used to make pizza crust, rice, and steaks unfortunately no one has figured out how to make noodles out of it, but I’m sure that will happen any day now. It’s no wonder, cauliflower has this distinctive taste and texture that makes it all at once interesting and adaptable.

In my world I like cauliflower to be reminiscent of cauliflower. If you’re like me then this salad is where its at.

gather ingredients

Best part: it’s super easy to make. First, the dressing. Garlic gets minced.

mince garlic

This dressing has anchovies which add a full-forced saltiness that can’t be achieved by just salt. The end result isn’t fishy, just sayin’ in case you hate anchovies.

mince anchovies

Next jalapeño, leave the seeds in there if you like spicy.

mince jalapeno

Put it all in a small bowl then add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin. Slowly mix in the oil until all is combined.

mix the dressing

Next cook the cauliflower until juuuuuuust tender, you want to keep a tad bit of crunch.

cook cauliflower

Then toss it all together while its still warm. Serve immediately topped with some thinly sliced scallions.

toss salad with dressing

A few of my other favorite spring salads:

All ¡Hola! Jalapeño Salads are HERE!

Warm Cauliflower Salad with Cumin Dressing


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


    To Make the Dressing:
  1. Combine jalapeño, garlic, anchovy, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly until all has been added. Taste and add more salt or lime juice as needed.
  2. To Make the Salad:
  3. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with the dressing. Garnish with scallions and serve.