A Quick & Hearty & Healthy Entrée Salad

We, in America, work hard and most of us spend too much time commuting. We get home late, tired, and often hungry. We tend to eat whatever is easier and faster. That’s why a lot of people end up eating fast-food or frozen food. I am guilty of it myself!

I’ve noticed a lot of people find preparing a meal a chore. They have to follow an exact recipe and if they are missing one ingredient or make one little mistake, they get easily discouraged. But for lots of dishes there is no exact rules, most of the time, of course. Who do you think came up with all these recipes? Someone who tried it, experimented it, and sometimes even made a mistake. So have no fear that you might make a mistake. I am sure lots of recipes were discovered because someone made a mistake and found out “oh, this is not so bad‘! I have done that!

A couple of days ago, one of my colleagues at work brought me a bag of crispy jalapeño, Fresh Gourmet brand. I had never tried those. They are these crispy food garnish in different flavors that you top the salad, sandwiches, or casseroles with them. Any way, I came home with this idea to make a salad that goes well with this crispy jalapeño thing. I searched my fridge and pantry and found the ingredients that have “Mexican” written all over them. Again, you shouldn’t be hard on yourself when you make a dish, especially salads. I wasn’t. So, I put together this taco inspired entree salad with whatever I had at home. The crispy Jalapeño end up being not bad. It was not too spicy hot and gave a little crunch to it. One tablespoon has 40 calories and 30 calories from fat.

This entree salad is delicious, filling, balanced, and filled with nutritious ingredients.

Vegetarian Taco Inspired Entree Salad (serving 1 person)

2 cups finely chopped Romaine lettuce (about 6-8 leaves)

1 small roma (plum) tomato diced

1/4 of a large avocado diced

2 Tbls chopped red or spring onion

2 Tbls chopped cilantro

4 Tbls canned or cooked pinto beans rinsed and drained

4 Tbls Salsa of your choice

1 Tbls shredded light cheddar cheese for garnish

1 Tbls crispy jalapeño (I used Fresh Gourmet brand)

Salad Dressing:

1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

Dash of salt, paprika, and cumin powder


The easiest way to prepare this salad is to place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the salad dressing ingredients separately then add it to the whole thing, toss it, and serve it. However, for nicer presentation, mix half of the dressing with the lettuce first, then place it on a plate. Add other ingredients (except for the cheese and the crispy garnish) in layers, spread them evenly on the salad, then pour the rest of the dressing over it. Garnish it with cheese and crispy jalapeno. Enjoy!

Approx. Calories: 380

Healthy Notes:

This recipe is for a busy working person who wants to prepare something healthy yet quick. Therefore, I suggested using organic canned beans.  The ideal is to cook your own beans.

I personally love tangy food, so I love lemons and limes. You may add half a tablespoon honey to the dressing to reduce the sourness of lemon.

The highest calorie in this salad comes from olive oil (120 cal.) and avocado (60 cal.) and both are healthy and good for you. However, if you want to reduce your fat intake, you can cut the amount in half.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s