I have been living on salads ever since May. Sometimes I’ll throw whatever is in the fridge into one bowl and other times I’ll actually make an effort. Sure this Cuban salad with mango and requires some cooking but when it’s this good, it’s worth turning on the oven. Bake some spiced sweet potato fries, quick braise some pinto beans, and caramelize some plantains and you have one amazing salad ready to go! Plus, the spicy southwestern dressing doesn’t hurt either.

cajun salad with mango and cajun spiced yams

cajun salad with mango and cajun spiced yams

 

Serves 4

340

Cuban Salad with Mango

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cajun spiced sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Braised pinto beans
  • 14 ounces canned pinto beans, drained
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Southwestern dressing
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp canned chipotle with adobo juices
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow plantains
  • salt
  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 1 large mango, peeled and sliced
  • 2 avocados, pit removed, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into matchsticks. Toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp Cajun seasoning, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Spread the potato onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes over and roast another 7-10 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, braise the pinto beans. Drain and rinse the beans and combine with 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 cup chicken broth in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Make the southwestern dressing. Blend together 1/3 cup yogurt with 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp chipotle with adobo juices, and 1/4 tsp oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Peel 2 plantains and slice into 1/8 inch thick slices. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the plantains. Cook until caramelized and browned, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from heat.
  6. Assemble the salads. Portion salad greens into 4 plates and top with fresh mango, avocado, braised beans (without the juices), Cajun spiced sweet potatoes, and plantains. Serve with southwestern dressing.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I’ve been making most of my salads vegetarian including this Cuban salad with mango but you can easily add whatever protein you desire. But when you have filling ingredients like sweet potatoes, pinto beans, and plantains, you might not even miss the meat.

Let’s start by roasting the sweet potatoes. The sooner we can finish cooking the tubers, the faster we can turn off the oven. The idea is to make oven-baked fries so cut the sweet potatoes into french fries or matchsticks. Toss them with olive oil, Cajun seasonings, and a touch of brown sugar. Spread out the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and cook another 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

cajun yams

While the fries are baking, quickly braise some beans. I used canned pinto beans to make life easier so all we have to do is simmer it with some seasonings. You can also make the beans the day before.

Lastly, cook the plantains. For this Cuban salad with mango, we want yellow plantains for their sweetness. Green plantains are much starchier and are typically used more for tostones or plantain chips. The blacker the plantain, the sweeter it’ll be.

seared plantains

Cut some mangos and avocado, blend up the Southwestern dressing and you are ready to assemble. See that wasn’t too much work, right? One bite into this Cuban salad and you’ll be glad you went through the effort!

cajun salad with mango and cajun spiced yams

 

Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.

 

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