The best ingredients from Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, including quinoa, red onion, cilantro, feta, and tomatoes!
No, there’s no typo. This is Mexiterranean! The marriage of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines in one wholesome salad packed with fresh flavor. This salad is refreshing and zesty! It’s probably the perfect thing to enjoy after a week of ice cream recipes!
It’s been just one month since I’ve started writing here and sharing my favorite recipes. It’s been an eventful month! With this exciting milestone (at least, it’s exciting for me!!), I think this is the perfect time to write about the name.
Mesa Cooking Co. earned its name after several horrible weeks of brainstorming. I am not exaggerating; I agonized over the name of this blog. I would wake up in the middle of the night with possible names running through my head and spent way too much time with thesauruses – I can’t imagine how I am going to someday name a child!! Finally, when I was so frustrated I was ready to call it “Food Blog”, I thought about the word mesa.
Mesa, for me, is the perfect word for two main reasons. First, mesa means table in Spanish. I think sharing food around a table can be such a special and intimate experience. The word mesa, to me, represents those experiences. Enjoying a delicious meal with others cultivates friendship and community. I can see someone at church every Sunday for months, but once we share a meal, the friendship reaches an entirely new level. Making food for others and gathering around a table to feast is a wonderful act of love. I hope my blog can in some small way make those experiences more delicious and more frequent! Perhaps a recipe will inspire you to reach out to a new friend or host a dinner party with neighbors.
The word mesa is also a nod to one of the most dear times of my life. I spent eight months in a Spanish-speaking country, Costa Rica, right after graduating from high school. This time was a hugely formative food experience. The meals I enjoyed and a sweet cook I befriended influenced me in the most meaningful ways. I learned recipes with instructions only given in Spanish and used ingredients I had never tried before. Those memories are precious to me and I’m happy to have that time represented by the name of this blog.
And now, onto a salad that features some of my favorite ingredients — like feta, quinoa, and cilantro! It’s a snap to throw together! You will have dinner on the table in 15 minutes!
Time: 15 minutes
Yields: Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main dish
5 ounces spring mix lettuce
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 of a red onion, sliced
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup cilantro
4 ounces feta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Prepare the dressing. Mix together olive oil, lime juice, honey, and cumin. Set aside.
- Rinse the spring mix and place in a large bowl. Top with tomatoes, red onion, black beans, quinoa, cilantro, and feta.
- Drizzle the dressing on top and dig in!
Notes: Feel free to use canned black beans. You will use about a quarter of a 15-ounce can for the salad and will have about 1.5 cups of leftover beans!
Make dairy-free: Omit feta.
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work.
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