Cafe Rio is a favorite in the Western United States, and there’s no questioning why. The mile-high salads. The homemade tortillas. And the DRESSING! Now you can make it all at home and it can be even healthier with my version!
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Whenever I hear food recommendations for travelers coming into Utah, I always hear the same few.
- Swig and Fizz for crazy sugary drink concoctions.
- Red Iguana for the best authentic Mexican food.
- Cafe Rio for the creamy dressing and mile-high salads.
I can agree with 2 out of 3 of those recs, but for now, we’re going to talk about Cafe Rio.
Cafe Rio isn’t necessarily comprised of authentic Mexican dishes. It’s definitely a bit Americanized. But you know what? I couldn’t care less.
I crave their salads, and especially the creamy cilantro dressing, on a weekly basis. With that being said, I’m really kind of sick of handing the cash over every time my weekly Cafe Rio craving hits.
I’m not sure how it took this long for me to replicate my favorite salad, but I finally did it, and I couldn’t be happier about how it all turned out.
The best part though is the dressing. As I’ve been trying really hard to go all plant-based, there are a few straggling items that have been hard to veganize or cut out completely. I cannot imagine eating a Cafe Rio salad without the dressing, so I knew I had to so something about the situation.
So of course, I made my own with some of my favorite plant-based and organic ingredients bought right from my local Kroger store. That’s the best part – I didn’t have to go all over the city to health food or specialty stores just to find the healthy ingredients I needed. Kroger always has every single thing I need (and so so much more)!
Not only is this dressing totally necessary for coating the entire salad in, but because the salad is sitting in an amazing house-made tortilla, the dressing is perfect for dipping said tortilla right into. That’s my favorite part!
[Tweet “This copycat recipe will have you excited to make a local favorite right at home!”]
- 4 large tortillas
- 2 cups cilantro lime quinoa, SEE NOTES
- 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup guacamole, store bought or homemade
- 3/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo
- 1/2 cup tortilla chips, crumbled
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Vegan Creamy Cilantro Dressing
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 handful chopped cilantro
- 3 tomatillos, diced
- 6 Tbsp raw cashews
- For salad, assemble salad ingredients in the order listed, divided among 4 large salad bowls, with a large tortilla lining the bowl and all ingredients on top of it.
- Add all dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until all ingredients are combined and dressing is smooth.
- Drizzle dressing on salad generously and use to dip the tortilla into as well.
CILANTRO LIME QUINOA - https://happyfoodhealthylife.com/copycat-cafe-rio-cilantro-lime-quinoa-instant-pot-or-stovetop/
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture, upload it to Instagram and tag me (@happyfoodholly) and use the hashtag #inspiredbyholly
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY KROGER. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO CONTINUE CREATING GREAT CONTENT FOR YOU BY SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SUPER AWESOME BRANDS THAT HFHL LOVES TO WORK WITH! AS ALWAYS, OPINIONS REMAIN 100% MY OWN.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.