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!

10 Responses to “Lemon Stars”

  1. 1

    HoneyB — November 27, 2009 @ 6:05 am

    I really like your blog here – I like seeing how your cover recipes are turning out and I really appreciate your comments on the recipes after you have tried them!

  2. 2

    VeggieGirl — November 27, 2009 @ 6:41 am

    Cute cookies – and I 100% agree on their “cover appeal” with the other cookies present.

  3. 3

    Katrina — November 27, 2009 @ 8:48 am

    Ok, the penguins are way cute. Lemon cookies, yum. I do wonder who and how some things are picked for the covers of magazines. I guess they have to have a variety and be diverse, right!
    Love that you do this, Lori.

  4. 4

    noble pig — November 27, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Yeah, they are cute, I’m sure the boys loved them.

  5. 5

    Sophie — November 27, 2009 @ 11:22 am

    MMMMMMM,..these cookies look excellent to me,..So festive too but normally I don’t like any icing but I must try these though,…

  6. 6

    dawn — November 27, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

    gorgeous photo!!!

  7. 7

    Ja Cie Kocham — November 27, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    YUM. I can smell the lemon from here! Thanks for the input about the lemon oil.

  8. 8

    Michelle — November 28, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    Great, honest review. Thanks for all the extra info.

  9. 9

    Su-yin — November 29, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    I love these cookies – they look so pretty! Will be keeping these in mind when I start making Christmas gifts. :)

  10. 10

    Leigh Anne Wilkes — December 3, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    I love anything lemon so will definitely need to try these pretty little lemon stars!

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