Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons

Cover recipe- Taste of Home,    Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons: May 2010

I am so excited to be contributing here on Culinary Covers for Lori. I love looking at cooking magazines and am always initially drawn in by the mouthwatering cover photography. Sadly after making some of these cover recipes they do not always live up to tantalizing appearance. In comes Culinary Covers! What a fantastic idea for a site… to dissect the culinary cover and let you know whether or not the cover dish made the grade!

Now to choose a cover. After looking & drooling over all the latest covers I settled on Taste of Home. It had a beautiful cover shot of a Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons. The captions were “fresh, light…and delicious!” “tropical flavor explosion!” And the photo was definitely that. The vibrant papaya and avocado colors immediately drew me in. I had my contestant and I set off to put her to the test!

Print Print Recipe

Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 8 min


2 cups cubed peeled papaya
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled & cubed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 serrano peppers, seeded & chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground ancho chili pepper, divided
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 corn tortillas (6 in.), cut into 1/4-in. strips


1. In a large bowl, combine the papaya, beans, avocado, corn, raisins, peppers, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, garlic 1/2 tsp. chili pepper, sugar and salt.
2. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray: sprinkle with remaining chili pepper. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until crisp.
3. Serve with salad.


Editor's Note: When cutting hot peppers, wear disposable gloves. Avoid touching your face or eyes.
*I would cut this back to 1 serrano pepper as well as cutting back the chili powder sprinkled onto the tortilla ribbons slightly. I like a little heat but not that much. If you like things spicier then definitely leave it as is. Or you could add more papaya to help cut some of the heat.
*I would recommend making sure your beans & corn are drained thoroughly. There is a lot of liquid from the orange and lime juices plus the vinegar which made it somewhat soupy at the bottom of the bowl. I had to use a slotted spoon to serve it with.
*The tortilla ribbons added a great layer of texture to this dish.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 1/4 cups salad + 10 tortilla ribbons
Calories per serving: 321
Fat per serving: 8g
Saturated Fat per serving: 1g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">380g
Fiber per serving: 11g
Protein per serving: 9g
Cholesterol per serving: 0mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 58g

Source: Taste of Home, May 2010

The results:

This was a very flavorful dish with a kick. 2 serrano peppers plus the ancho chili pepper were a little overwhelming for my little ones.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

This is a very enticing dish. It immediately draws you in visually and stimulates every one of your taste buds. Great flavor, great texture. I would say YES it deserved the cover spotlight and, I would make it again with the slight modification to heat level.

Paula shares her passion for authentic Italian foods on her food blog bell'alimento. "bell'alimento" is Italian for beautiful food, and she truly believes that beautiful food doesn't have to be complicated!

11 Responses to “Southwest Frito Pie”

  1. 1

    Tieghan — July 2, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

    LOVE! Fritos make everything better!

  2. 2

    Faith — July 3, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    I love taco salad so I’d be all over this. My mom is making taco salad for our picnic on the 4th and I’m going to show her this recipe – she might want to change it up! And you bring up a good point about skipping fast food w/ meals that come together quickly like this!

  3. 3

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — July 3, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    We love dishes with southwest flavors so this would be a huge hit here! Pinning!

  4. 4

    mary — July 4, 2013 @ 6:10 am

    Looks good. Have you tried the low salt fritos? Excellent and still salty. We don’t buy anything else anymore.

    • Lori Lange replied: — July 4th, 2013 @ 7:22 am

      I haven’t tried them yet, but thanks for letting me know!

  5. 5

    Vicki Bensinger — July 4, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    Now this is a dish that my family would gobble up in literally minutes. I may have to make some tonight for our 4th of July BBQ.

  6. 6

    Nessa — July 4, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    That looks amazing!

  7. 7

    connie — December 19, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

    Didn’t know they made low salt frito’s will try to find them. They really are a little to salty for me! Iam going to make this soon!

  8. 8

    Chantel — December 20, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    Add enchilada sauce and a 1/2 cup cheddar to the meat, its delicious! My family loves it.

  9. 9

    Di — December 24, 2013 @ 5:30 am

    Hi recipe girl, you have some of the best recipes. I love anything with tacos, pizza, well just anything from desserts to soups to comfort foods. I’ve come to the right girl, thank you for sharing!!!

  10. 10

    Keisha — April 13, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

    Trying this tonight!!! Let’s see what the jury (family) thinks. Thanks for the recipe!!

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