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Skinny Santa Fe Salad with Avocado Lime VinaigretteMargaret DeMarco


Developed by Margaret DeMarco of
Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center
Virginia Beach, VA

Third Place, 2015 AICR/C-CAP Healthy Appetizer Contest Winner
Margaret received a $2,000 scholarship


A colorful, vegetable-packed salad served with a creamy, rich tasting dressing.

  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon of shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 cup baby spinach, chiffonade
  • 2 cup baby arugula, chiffonade
  • 2 cup romaine, chiffonade
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Queso Fresco cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 slice

Skinny Santa Fe Salad with Avocado Lime VinaigretteCut tortilla into small, short strips, about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Toss with canola oil. Place strips on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, until crisped.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add sunflower seeds, stir frequently. Cook, until seeds are toasted, about 3½ minutes. Remove seeds from heat and cool.

Combine spinach, arugula, and romaine in medium sized mixing bowl. Divide mixed greens among 6 salad plates. Divide toasted sunflower seeds, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, whole kernel corn, and black beans between 6 salads. Place a few whole-wheat tortilla crisps on each salad. Sprinkle Queso Fresco crumbles on each salad. Garnish each with 1 slice of lime.

Avocado Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 ripe avocado (peeled, seeded, diced)
  • 1 small clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. all-natural avocado oil (can substitute canola or light olive oil)

Place avocado, garlic, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, cilantro leaves, and chili powder in blender. Add 3 tablespoons water, and blend on high until vinaigrette begins to come together. While blender is running, slowly add oil. Blend until creamy. Divide contents between 6 porcelain spoons and arrange on each plate.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 188 calories, 12 g total fat, (3 g saturated fat),
18 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 114 mg sodium.


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We have contributed over $108 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendation for Cancer Prevention, at www.aicr.org.

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