I am so excited to share this Southwestern Chopped Salad with Catalina Dressing with you!
Gluten and vegan, it is packed with goodness, bursting with flavor and so satisfying!
It is a copycat of a salad I love from
Living on the Veg in Beach Haven, NJ. I ordered their “Mexicali Salad” 3x in one week while vacationing on the Jersey Shore this Summer… it’s that good!
The Mexicali Salad from Living on the Veg
And each time I enjoyed it, I kept thinking I had to recreate it!
It actually seems like a salad I would have already made because it’s all my favorite Taco Tuesday flavors, but I had never made a Catalina dressing and the dressing really brings it all together.
So here’s what’s in it:
cooked brown rice
walnut “meat” (you could substitute any taco meat or grilled chicken for the omnivores in your family)
bell pepper (I used yellow for a pop of color)
the yummiest Catalina dressing
As an aside, since I often eat this for lunch by myself, I provide quantities below as both serving for 4 and serving for 1.
The walnut meat and Catalina dressing make enough for 4 servings.
Let’s start with the walnut meat.
Similar to the lentil walnut meat in our
Lentil Walnut Tacos, this is a nutrient dense, plant-based meat alternative.
All you need is walnuts (which I soak in water for 2 hours), chili powder, cumin and salt.
After soaking the walnuts, it all gets pulsed in a food processor 5 or 6 times so that it is chopped, but not minced.
And it is a delicious add to the salad!
Omnivore friends, I highly recommend giving this try but feel free add in grilled chicken or taco meat instead of walnut meat.
On to the dressing!
With all the
salad dressings on our website (click for our round up), we had never made a Catalina dressing, so I was super excited to add this new flavor profile to the mix!
Catalina dressing is a variety of French dressing, and it’s mix of sweet and tangy. It’s also creamy but there is no dairy, dairy substitute or nuts.
And it’s super simple to make, coming together in 5 minutes!
Here’s what you’ll need:
red wine vinegar
And it’s easy to make.
Using an immersion blender (my choice), food processor or whisk, blend together everything except the oil.
Then slowly add the oil while you’re blending. This will help the oil combine with the other ingredients and prevent separation. And it will make the dressing really creamy!
Paired together this salad is a new favorite!
Hope you love it as much as we do!
Scroll down for recipe and leave a comment if you try.