Tequila Lime Salad

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There used to be a little family owned Mexican spot on St. Charles Road called Tierra Grill that was the best Mexican food in the area hands down. Like seriously good, authentic food made fresh to order. I heard they also had the best margaritas but sadly they lost their liquor license before I had a chance to try them. Obviously I would order tacos, enchiladas and elotes on the regular but I often had the hardest time choosing between these classics and their tequila salad. I know, I know. Salad? Over enchiladas and elotes? But seriously there was something magical about the tequila dressing that made it the most addictive and satisfying salad I’ve ever eaten. They’ve been closed well over 5 years now but the thing I still find myself missing is the tequila salad.

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I found myself a little light on lemons and limes one day and needed some extra zip for a vinaigrette when memories of this tequila salad came rushing back. The choice became clear – add tequila! The best thing about this recipe is that you can adjust it to use whatever you’ve got on hand. Some leftover grilled corn, cucumbers, heirloom cherry tomatoes, jalapeno or really whatever is looking good. I opt to add in some grilled chicken to make it a bit more hearty but by no means is it necessary. It’s great as is and this way it’s totally vegan!
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Tequila Lime Salad

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

For the Salad
1 6 oz Bag Salad Mix
3 Carrots, grated
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Pepitas
1 16 oz can Black Beans
1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped
2 Grilled Chicken Breasts (optional)

For the Tequila Lime Dressing
3 Limes
1/2 bunch Cilantro
2 TBS Pepitas
1 TBS Tequila
2 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt

Drain and rinse the black beans and toss in a large bowl with the salad mix, carrots, red onion, pepitas, black beans and cilantro. In a food processor combine the juice of the limes, the cilantro (stems and all), pepitas, tequila and salt. Process until smooth. With the motor running drizzle in the olive oil. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve with the grilled chicken breasts if desired.