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15 Comments | Written on April 12, 2012 at 5:00 am , by

I am pleased to announce the winner of our “Mexican” themed week, Jamie Miller!

Jamie says, “I created this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party last year.  I read a variety of recipes for different Mexican salads and combined all of the elements I liked into one big chopped salad.  It’s nice for a party because guests can pick and choose what they like, and you can prepare all of the ingredients in advance.”

This recipe is simply packed with color and flavor.  Jamie’s homemade dressing starts with toasting cumin and coriander seeds.  The aroma is heavenly!  Toasting seeds always makes such an amazing difference in the flavor of a dish.

The dish is perfect for serving a hungry crowd.  A rainbow of vegetables and beans looks beautiful on display.  I love to toss it all together with the Spiced Citrus Vinaigrette and top with cilantro, scallions and queso fresco.  Que bonita!

Don’t forget we are just past the halfway point in the weekly recipe contest series.  There are still plenty of chances to win the weekly Judge’s Choice prize and the Reader’s Choice award!  That’s $500 is prizes every week and, of course, the $2500 Grand Prize at the end!  The theme this week is “Deviled Eggs.”  Submit your best recipe by midnight on Saturday!

MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD WITH SPICED CITRUS VINAIGRETTE   (click here to view and print recipe)


1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

1/8 tsp Cayenne, optional

1 tsp Minced Fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Fresh Orange Juice, plus ½ tsp finely grated orange zest

1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice, plus ½ tsp finely grated lime zest

1 Shallot, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp Agave Syrup or Honey If You Can’t Find Agave

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper


2 cups Halved Grape Tomatoes

2 cups Peeled & Diced Jicama

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups Peeled, seeded and chopped avocado

1 Each, thinly sliced red, yellow and orange bell peppers, roasted

2 cups Edamame, roasted*

2 cups Corn, fresh or frozen (thawed), roasted*


1 cup Crumbled Queso Fresco

1/3 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1/4 cup Chopped Scallions

*toss Edamame & Corn With Canola or Grapeseed Oil.

Spread Out On a Baking Sheet.

Roast, at 425 for 10-15 minutes.


To make vinaigrette, toast cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet, over medium high heat, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Grind in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Place spices in a mini food processor, along with cayenne, garlic, orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, shallot, agave, and olive oil. Puree. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Arrange salad ingredients in sections on a large serving platter; drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with queso fresco, cilantro and scallions. Serves 10.

Congratulations is also in order for the latest “Reader’s Choice” Winner, Peggy Calhoun!  Her recipe for Fiesta Enchiladas received the most votes during the Mexican contest.

Peggy says, “I am thrilled to be chosen “Readers Choice” winner in “Mexican” week contest.  My passion for cooking and creating new recipes has given me the opportunity to meet new foodie friends.  There are a lot of “Superstar” home cooks out there and I have been blessed to call many of them my Facebook Foodie friends!  You really need to develop  a network of other home cooks. When it comes to voting requests, foodie friends are a loyal group.  I would suggest creating a strong support group by starting to vote and comment on recipe contests… it is then you will develop that network of other home cooks.  Voting is usually a daily ritual for us. When you need a vote..all you have to do is ask.   Join groups and support others in the culinary field.”

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