One of my favorite salads…the Santa Fe Salad at the Cheesecake Factory (minus the chicken of course). I decided to try and replicate it for our holiday party this year. I found many different websites trying to replicate the salad dressing. This recipe was adapted from cdkitchen. I felt like the original recipe was missing some flavor so I decided to add some peanut butter and a little more agave nectar. I also topped the salad with some freshly fried corn tortilla strips to add some texture.
The end result was pretty close to the original salad I love at Cheesecake Factory, and more importantly, absolutely delicious! It’s a great feeling when you can recreate some of your favorite restaurant recipes at home!
This salad is very filling and one of my favorite combination of ingredients, topped with a creamy herb-filled slightly nutty dressing! Easy to make, filling, and healthy!
- romaine lettuce or mixed greens , slivered
- corn kernels , frozen (defrosted) or fresh
- black beans , canned and rinsed
- tomatoes , chopped
- red and/or green bell peppers , sliced and halved once
- freshly fried corn tortilla strips , or crushed store-bought tortilla chips
- avocado , diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 tbsp cilantro stems trimmed, rinsed well
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teasp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teasp ground cumin
- 3/4 teasp salt
- 1/2 teasp freshly grounded pepper
- 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese , such as Violife or Follow Your Heart (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp peanut butter , smooth
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Add the cilantro, crushed garlic, minced ginger, spices, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and vegan parmesan cheese (if using) into a food processor or blender.
- Process until well mixed.
- Add the peanut butter and process until mixed well.
- While the motor is running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube. Let it process for 1 more minute.
- If you find yourself looking for more of the peanut taste, feel free to add more peanut butter. Also, depending on how sour your limes are, feel free to add more/less honey (as mine were pretty sour).
Cut corn tortilla rounds into small strips and fry (or crush up some store-bought tortilla chips)
Toss all ingredients of the salad in a large bowl except avocado and fried tortilla strips.
Top the salad with avocado and fried tortilla strips.
- Toss with the dressing and enjoy!
Dressing recipe makes about 1 pint of dressing.
Make-Ahead Tip - Prep the dressing ahead of time, mix all the salad ingredients together. Then toss when ready to serve.