I was recently given the opportunity to work with an incredible company, Cocina 54 Empanadas, where I was asked to develop a simple, summery salad to pair with their delicious products. They specialize in made-from-scratch empanadas that are tasty and gluten-free, use antibiotic-free meats, filled with protein and loaded with vegetables. The company prioritizes fresh, flavorful ingredients, so I immediately knew that we were the perfect match.
And what better to go alongside one of their mouthwatering empanadas than a crisp jicama slaw? This nutritious, summery salad includes a colorful array of crunchy vegetables, a sweet kick from the fresh mango and one of my favorite, easy vinaigrettes.
Jicama itself is the perfect base due to its subtle flavor and refreshing crunch. If you’re not familiar, jicama is a root vegetable with a thin skin and white, starchy center. It consists mainly of fiber and water, along with various minerals and a considerable amount of vitamin C. Plus, jicama is high in antioxidants, promotes digestion and feeds healthy gut bacteria. Truly a win all around!
Personally, I find that these crunchy sticks make a great, gluten-free tortilla chip alternative with guacamole. Plus, they’re even delicious enjoyed with a simple squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
In this recipe, jicama pairs perfectly with other slaw staples, such as Napa and purple cabbage. Cabbage likewise provides an array of nutrients, including vitamins B6, C, K and folate. It’s also high in antioxidants and has been seen to reduce inflammation, promote heart heath and boost digestion.
As for the other key ingredients in this jicama slaw, red bell peppers and mango add both wonderful color and flavor. Learn more about the nourishing abilities of red peppers in 12 Beauty Foods for Skin & Hair Health. Plus, they’re also the star of the show in my favorite Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
When it comes to the mangoes, I adore them both for their sweetness and the punch of immune-boosting power they bring to any dish. Filled with vitamins and antioxidants, mangos also help improve eye, hair and skin health.
Finally, a good slaw isn’t complete without a tasty dressing to bring it all together. With the Latin-inspired flavors of the empanadas, I knew my Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette would be the finishing touch this dish needed. Perfectly tangy, herby and slightly sweet, this dressing might just become your new go-to for salads all year long.
While I adore cilantro, I’m aware that many unfortunately don’t feel the same. You can easily omit this ingredient from the recipe completely, and it will still be delicious! But if you’re team cilantro, feel free to add as much as you please.
While I’m personally a cilantro fanatic due to its unique flavor, I never before knew just how beneficial this herb is to our health. Cilantro (coriander) has potent cancer fighting, pain and inflammation reducing and anti-fungal properties. Add to soups and dressings or sprinkle on salads for an extra punch of flavor and nutrition!
Perhaps the best part of this recipe, though? No cooking required! Simply prep your veggies, toss in the vinaigrette and sprinkle with sunflower seeds before serving to your family at dinnertime or friends at an end-of-summer cookout.
While I encourage you to pair this fresh slaw with my new favorite empanadas from Cucina54, it likewise pairs perfectly with grilled fish and chicken. Or even serve as a starter alongside chips, salsa and a margarita. Regardless, this recipe is sure to feel and taste like a fiesta!
- 2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups jicama, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1 large mango, cut into matchsticks
- ⅓ cup green onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
- Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup lime juice
- zest of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of salt
Add lime juice, lime zest, shallot, cilantro, avocado oil, honey and salt. Whisk to combine.
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