Elote-Inspired Summer Salad

with lime grilled chicken & avocado

Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’re somehow reading this and aren’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so below. You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers get even more!


In case you missed it: Last week, paid subscribers got a bonus recipe: Ginger Garlic Scallops over marinated scallion cucumbers!

Coming this Thursday for paid subscribers: I want to hear from you, so I’m opening up a discussion board for our first subscriber check-in! I would love to chat and get your feedback on what type of content you like/don’t like and what you want out of “good mood food.” I’ll open discussion at 10am PST and will be around to respond, but feel free to chime in throughout the day/week!

As a reminder, when you become a paid subscriber, you get access to all previous paid posts, not just new ones!! So no stress if you missed something. Everything is available in the archive. Subscribe below if you want in on all the action.

I want more!!

Recipe I’m Loving: Sophia Roe’s Garlic Confit Pasta she posted last week — DEAD. Lately, I’ve been feeling like onions and garlic can hold up any dish — keep it simple, and you’re good to go.

Life updates: I’ve been daydreaming about jetting off to the Mediterranean, but with Delta rearing its ugly head, I know it’s best to stay local. Which really, is okay because there’s plenty for me to do here, such as finding HOUSING. I’m getting very eager for Grant and me to find a home of our own, but we have been taking our time to find the right fit. Also, spending the weekend in Big Bear, so no complaints here! Book writing was a little slow this week (aka nonexistent, ugh), but I got a lot done last week at the lake.


This recipe is for my Trader Joe’s people! I recently bought the “Everything But The Elote Seasoning,” and I knew I had to make a salad with it. If you’re shopping at Trader Joe’s you can also use a shortcut for this recipe by getting their “Mexican Style Roasted Corn,” which adds flavor the salad AND comes with cotija cheese.

When people refer to elote, which actually means corn cob in Spanish, they’re often referencing a type of Mexican street corn that is typically served with butter, mayo, cotija cheese, and seasoning. When making this recipe, I couldn’t decide whether to call this salad “Elote-inspired” or “Esquites-inspired,” since esquites is the version that’s off the cob, but since I used the Trader Joe’s elote seasoning, I decided to keep it consistent.

Of course, this salad is just inspired by those flavors and is no way an authentic representation of elote. Here’s an elote recipe if you want to make the real deal!

If you don’t have the elote seasoning or access to Trader Joe’s, you can just replace it with a pinch of chili powder and cumin.

Elote-Inspired Summer Salad with Lime Grilled Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)

Grilled Chicken

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • 1 tbsp Everything But The Elote Seasoning (or a pinch of chili powder & cumin)

  • 1 lb breast tenders


  • 1 7oz bag arugula

  • 14 oz frozen roasted corn (I used the Trader Joe’s “Mexican Style Roasted” that came with cotija)

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 3 large stalks green onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced

  • 3 tbsp crumbled cotija


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1 tsp Everything But The Elote Seasoning (or a pinch of chili powder & cumin)

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

1. In a large bowl, mix together the avocado oil, lime juice, and elote seasoning. Mix together, and then add in the chicken tenders. Toss so the tenders are evenly coated, and let marinate for 20 minutes.

2. Prepare your frozen corn according to package (typically, heat some oil in a pan and cook until warm). Let the corn cool. In a separate large bowl, add the arugula, chopped red and green onion, cilantro, and avocado. Add the corn when it has cooled.

3. Prepare the dressing by whisking together Greek yogurt, elote seasoning, and lime juice together in a small bowl.

4. Preheat your grill (or grill pan/regular pan) to medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

5. Toss the greens and veggies in your dressing, and then top with cotija cheese and grilled chicken. Finish off with more lime if you’d like!

To make sure you don’t miss out on anything moving forward, become a paid subscriber! Thursday posts are for paid subscribers only, and they include more recipes, essays, tips, and more! It’s just $5/month or $50/year. You can read more about what that entails here.