La Fiesta Salad


La Fiesta Salad 1

The Scoop:

Last time I moved, four years ago, I promised myself the next time I did it I would hire movers.

I did not hire movers.

And I regretted every second of it.

Moving week went a little something like this:

Carry lots of furniture.  Have an anxiety attack when my brand new couches barely made it up my stairs.  Sit through two nights of MBA class.  Go to a wedding.  Throw an all day House Cooling Party / Bike Race Brunch [link to last year’s bike race brunch because I forgot to take pictures this year!]. Work, carry things, work, carry things, forget to eat, work, carry things, eat take out, work, carry things.  Discover a zillion mystery bruises on my body from all that said  carrying.  Have a super dramatic meltdown about not having time for a pedicure [except as in the case of most women, the thing I was melting down about wasn’t actually what I was melting down about].  Clean my old apartment.  Carry more things.  Finally get  that pedicure.  Order a ton of sushi and drink copious amounts of wine while packing for vacation.  Leave for vacation with all my stuff in my new apartment, but none of it unpacked.

Oh yea, did I mention at the end of all this I was leaving on vacation?

It’s the one thing that made it all ok!

Well, vacation and the take out food that I survived on all week.

Take out food.  Ohhhh yes, take out food and I became great friends that week.  There are plenty of places to get great take out around  the city, but my neighborhood go-to is definitely The Couch Tomato.  They have tons of great options, but 9 times out of 10 I find myself ordering the La Fiesta Salad, so when I finally got some free time, I decided to re-create it at home!

This salad is basically summer on a plate.  Crunchy romaine gets topped with fresh tomatoes, creamy avocados, roasted chicken, shredded cheese and that to-die-for mango salsa that we made last week.  The quick and simple ‘homemade’ chipotle ranch dressing just happens to be the perfect accompaniment to give the salad just a little extra kick.  Although I never plan to stop ordering this salad from Couch Tomato, I’m super psyched to have mastered the at-home version as well!

La Fiesta Salad 2


The Goods:

INGREDIENTS [makes two salads]:


  • 1 heart of romaine, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/3 cup mango salsa
  • 1 chicken breast [grilled or roasted], sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Chipotle Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp – 1 Tbs adobo sauce [from a can of chipotles in adobo]

The Deets:

To make the dressing, whisk together your favorite ranch dressing and 1 tsp – 1 Tbs of adobo sauce.  I used 1 Tbs, but it had a serious kick, so if you don’t like spicy, you’ll want to dial it back.

To assemble the salad, lay a bed of chopped romaine on two plates.  Top each plate of lettuce with half of the diced tomato, half the mango salsa, half an avocado, and the chicken.  Sprinkle each salad with 2 Tbs of shredded cheese and drizzle with chipotle ranch dressing.

My local take-out joint also tops their La Fiesta salad with crushed tortilla chips which is a great addition to add a little crunch.

La Fiesta Salad 3

The Inspiration:

The Couch Tomato’s La Fiesta Salad.

La Fiesta Salad 4

Next time, I’m actually hiring movers.





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