Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

pAs promised earlier this week to balance my Triple Chocolate Turtle Cookies, I bring you salad!  But not just any salad, a hearty, Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing that will actually have you craving salad.  You will still crave the cookies, but at least you can stuff yourself with this salad... 

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Ingredients

  • Southwest Salad
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted pepitas (may sub. sunflower seeds)
  • 1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, or more to taste
  • Tortilla Strips for Salads (I like Fresh Gourmet Santa Fe Style)
  • Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded, deveined and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (may sub.plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup smooth salsa (medium for more of a kick)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar*
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
Read the whole recipe on Carlsbad Cravings