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.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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16 Responses to “Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. 1

    VeggieGirl — November 5, 2009 @ 6:02 am

    OOOOOH love the garnish the best :-D

  2. 2

    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is — November 5, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    This blog is such a fab idea, Lori! And this creation looks mouth-watering. :)

  3. 3

    BethieofVA — November 5, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    Yum, it looks very similar to one I made for Halloween that was delish.

  4. 4

    Laura — November 5, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    I am glad to see you made this. I have that mag and wondered about that recipe. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, but can totally do pumpkin cheesecake.

  5. 5

    LilSis — November 5, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    I love the addition of the pumpkin and the gingersnap crust! This is one beautiful slice of cheesecake. I love it plated on top of the chocolate and the caramel sauce just puts this over the top!

    I really like the new blog!

  6. 6

    Jennifer — November 5, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    Yum! This dessert is a pumpkin fanatic’s dream come true.

  7. 7

    lisaiscooking — November 5, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

    I’m a big fan of pumpkin cheesecake, and the gingersnap crust with pecans sounds fantastic!

  8. 8

    Nancy — November 5, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

    Mmmmmm…pumpkin….cheesecake…Pumpkin Cheesecake! I think I’ll have to add this to the dessert list for this year.

  9. 9

    Bethany — November 5, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    That looks delicious!!

  10. 10

    Margaret — November 5, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    Love Pumpkin Cheescake. Will have to try this recipe. Sounds delicious.

  11. 11

    Elizabeth — November 5, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

    Mmm, I love pumpkin cheesecake, although I usually do a chocolate crust..this sounds great! I always do a water bath with cheesecakes, and yet they still crack, I wonder what is is I’m doing wrong? I’ve even done the cracking of the door and leaving it in the oven with it turned off for an hour thing, still cracks!

    Just one more thing: The funniest thing to me, about pumpkin cheesecake, is it’s something I ate the night before and morning I went into labour. I couldn’t keep my hands off it…maybe it has magical powers!

  12. 12

    Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} — November 8, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    Mmmm I too am a huge cheesecake fan and have never had pumpkin cheesecake. This post just pushed me over the edge!

  13. 13

    Debi — November 18, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    I made this cheesecake when I got the issue. Saw the cover and just HAD to make it. My family absolutely LOVED it. I will be making it again for Thanksgiving instead of the old pumpkin pie that just doesn’t get ate. My family is tired of the same pie every year. You must try this. I thought it was a lot of work and I made a complete mess out of my kitchen but I am looking forward to sharing this when my family comes to Thanksgiving dinner this next Thursday. Thanks for the great recipe!

  14. 14

    Jeng — December 2, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

    This is a very good recipe. I kind of modified the base and the spices a little bit and it turned out really good. I made dried apple caramel sauce for this and it doesn’t really complement with the cheesecake. I tried apple sauce instead and found a perfect marriage for this cheesecake!
    Very Very Good!!!!!

  15. 15

    Deb — November 22, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

    I fixed this last year at Thanksgiving. It is delicious!
    Thank you for posting the recipe as I can’t find mine.

  16. 16

    Daniel — November 23, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    When I first found this I took a picture with my camera phone so I could make it. It was a hit that Thanksgiving and has been ever since. A wonderful desert, thank you very much for posting it!

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