Salads have changed a lot in the past couple of decades, going well beyond the traditional composition of a few sad chunks of iceberg lettuce topped with boxed croutons, shaved carrots, and gooey globs of blue cheese dressing. The salad world has evolved to great heights and these four recipes prove it. Side salad, no more. Enter, main course salads.

1 | Chorizo Salad

chorizo salad min - Cocina

Who ever said salty Latin American meat couldn’t be at the heart of a good salad? Chorizo is a popular spiced pork ingredient that can more traditionally be found in tacos, burritos, or scrambled eggs. These days (as evidence by this dish), cooks are finding new and interesting ways to introduce the salty meat into other means of consumption.

In this dish, saute the chorizo until cooked through, then add onion and chopped tomato before incorporating with avocado and mixed greens. This salad is meant to be served warm with a light cilantro balsamic vinaigrette.

2 | Jalapeño Chicken Salad

chicken salad min - Cocina

This hearty salad starts with the chicken, and ends with a Latin American favorite that spices everything up. Chicken breasts are battered, pan fried, then cut into thin slices and set aside in the fridge to chill. The salad itself is fairly simple to assemble, containing cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, avocado, cotija cheese and sliced jalapeño peppers.

After the chicken is cooled it is placed over the top of the salad before being dressed with a light, creamy cilantro-based dressing infused with spicy pepper seeds. This salad will simultaneously cool you down just as you’re grabbing for a glass of ice water.

3 | Creamy Latin Pasta Salad

salad pasta min - Cocina

One of the greatest things to ever happen to pasta is when it was decided to be eaten cold, disguised as a salad and forever established as one of the most delicious summer staples.

This creamy pasta salad takes on a Latin American flavor, combining onion, cilantro, olives, and a spicy pepper dressing made with oil and creme fraiche. Those ingredients are mixed with pre-cooked rotini or fusilli pasta for a hearty salad that doesn’t need to play second fiddle to anyone but itself.

4 | Kale, Almond and Quinoa Salad

kale quinoa min - Cocina

As if salads weren’t healthy enough, this filling dish takes things a few steps further, combining three of the most popular super foods into one delicious bowl of nutrients. The kale is chopped into thin slices then mixed with chopped almonds and pre-cooked quinoa along with onion, carrot, and pepitas. It is then mixed with a light oil and vinegar dressing and a squeeze of lemon for freshness. You’ll not only be full of food after consuming a big bowl of this salad, you’ll be full of clean energy to get the most out of a busy afternoon.

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Colombian Hominy and Pork Stew

Make this delicious and traditional ‘cuchuco’ this holiday season, a classic staple from central Colombia.

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Coconut Beijinhos

These simple but delicious truffles are a Brazilian delicacy, literally named coconut ‘little kisses’ or, in portuguese, beijinhos.

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