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Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Mexican Caesar Salad

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Happy Monday, folks. How about a nice, big chopped salad for your Meatless Monday dinner? Maybe something a little familiar and yet a little unique all at the same time?

May I present to you the Mexican Ceasar Salad. Avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips and lime juice give this salad a south of the border feel (hopefully you're over any Mexican food overload by now after Saturday's Cinco de Mayo festivities), while goat cheese, romaine and pumpkin seeds add to the flavor.

Of course, none of those things, save the romaine, are traditional ingredients to ceasar salad. But, what if I told you the famous salad has Mexican origins? According to semi-reliable sources and legend, the salad was first produced in the 1920s by an Italian immigrant named Caesar Cardini. Cardini owned restaurants in both the U.S. and Mexico (to avoid prohibition laws) and it was at his Tijuana eatery where he first threw together the salad during a busy lunch rush.

Who really knows if it's true or not? But what we can assume as this distant cousin is a pretty tasty and hearty spring dinner.

Mexican Caesar Salad

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

1/3 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled

1 large avocado, diced

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup sliced jumbo pitted black olives

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve. Serves 4.

—Recipe from www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

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