On a hot summer day, I love eating a nice, crisp, refreshing salad like this Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing. In fact, with the hot weather here in Arizona, I often find myself eating salads for lunch year round. So, I like to mix it up a bit with the flavor profiles to keep things different. And that’s exactly where the idea of this recipe came from!
From the dressing to the salad to the toppings, I like to fill salads with as many nutrients and health-promoting ingredients as possible. For starters, I’ve included kale, which I often do with many of my salads, due to the fact that it's loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and K.
Kale is a great cruciferous vegetable and is known to help slow cognitive decline due to aging. [1, 2, 3] It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of harmful inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.
This Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing also features one of my favorite foods: avocados. This fruit is so beneficial for your health that I’ve included it both in the dressing and as a topping!
Avocados not only contain a significant amount of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals, but they’re also a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Interestingly, MUFAs are known to promote heart health, weight management, blood sugar regulation, and more.
In fact, studies have shown that consuming MUFAs can actually lower your risk of coronary heart disease by 15 percent! 
So, now that you know a little more about a few of the many healthy ingredients in this recipe, let’s dive into this Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing! You’re only 10 minutes away from a nice, refreshing salad that’s perfect to help you kick off the summer.
Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4
1 large avocado
1 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 garlic cloves, chopped
½ teaspoon coriander (optional)
Water, to taste (optional)
1½ cups frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed
½ yellow or white onion, diced
2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, diced
4 cups kale
4 cups romaine
Chopped green onions, to taste
Sliced avocado, to taste
Cilantro, to taste
1. In a high-speed blender, blend all the dressing ingredients on high until well-combined. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the salad ingredients and toss. Equally distribute into 2 or 4 bowls.
3. Add the toppings as desired and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.