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Monday, June 11, 2018

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Menu musings_ southwestern chicken salad
I love the flavors of Southwestern food so, so much... and I'm even happier when I can get those flavors in a healthy recipe like a salad.  The problem arises when you have a great salad with all your favorite toppings and your lovely dressing and it all gets wilted down and soggy.   A few weeks ago I had the idea to mix all those great flavors into a chicken salad that was supposed to be moist and see what came of it.  

Turns out,  this idea worked great as a lunch prep.  The flavors were huge with  all the things you expect in your southwestern salad - a mixture of bright cilantro, sweet roasted corn, black beans, shredded cheese, and red onions all mixed into chopped rotisserie chicken.  The dressing is super healthy but has a kick starting with high protein, nonfat Greek yogurt, cumin, chipotle chili powder, garlic, and lime juice.  I loved this high protein chicken salad as lettuce wraps, but I admit it was also great with crackers.

#clean #glutenfree #highprotein #mealprep #lowcarb 


Ingredients:
  • 3 - 4 cups cooked chicken chopped as large/fine as you'd like
    • I used a rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ear corn, roasted
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
Dressing (you may like to double this to add more later if salad starts getting dry)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Step-by-Step:
Combine first six ingredients (cooked chicken through shredded cheese).
1 rotisserie chicken typically yields 3-4 cups cooked chicken
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ear sweet corn, roasted (over gas stove, BBQ pit, under broiler of oven)



1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup shredded cheese
** You might also like to add the diced flesh of a roasted, seeded jalapeño if you really like a spicy kick.  That's too hot for the people in our house.

Combine dressing ingredients.  Adjust seasoning to your tastes.  
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
juice of 1 large lime
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
**add more to kick up the heat factor!! 
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
 Pour dressing over salad ingredients and mix to combine.
So here we have a mixture of sweet, spicy, sour, savory, crunchy, smooth... all in one spoonful!  Oh what I wouldn't give to eat this with a big pile of tortilla chips!  But I guess that would completely defeat the purpose.
Menu Musings_ southwestern chicken salad
What I DID choose, as I mentioned earlier, was lettuce wraps.  Okay, so they aren't exactly tacos, but they ARE a healthy choice... and one good decision leads to another, right?
Menu Musings_ southwestern chicken salad

Bonus Recipes: 
Stuffed Zucchini -  one of my most popular side dish recipes to date in 8 years!  #lowcarb #glutenfree #familyfriendly #easy
menu musings_ stuffed zucchini
Spicy Garlic Shrimp - #fast #easy #spicy #pasta #seafood A definite favorite in our house!
menu musings_ spicy garlic shrimp
Oven Baked Fajitas - Let the oven to the work for you!  #mexican Can be #glutenfree if you don't use flour tortillas.  Also great over a salad!  
menu musings_ oven baked fajitas
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas - Every now and then, you just need a little something to snack on, right?  So make it something healthy!  #highprotein #healthysnacking #highfiber
menu musings_ spicy roasted chickpeas
Steamed Asian Dumplings (Gyoza)  - One of my daughter's favorite things in the world!  They do take a bit of time, due to making the dough and all, but it's a lot of fun and they are delicious!  You could save some time by purchasing pre-made wonton wrappers and just making the filling if you needed to.  #asian #dumplings #appetizer This filling is #pork but you could swap that out for #chicken if you wanted. 

menu musings_ steamed asian dumplings (gyoza)
Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette - #seafood #highprotein #lowfat #lowcarb #glutenfree #dairyfree 
menu musings_ grilled tilapia with lemon basil vinaigrette

Written Method:
Combine first six ingredients (cooked chicken through shredded cheese).
** You might also like to add the diced flesh of a roasted, seeded jalapeño if you really like a spicy kick.  That's too hot for the people in our house.
Combine dressing ingredients.  Adjust seasoning to your tastes.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients and mix to combine.   If you find, the next day perhaps, that the salad is getting dried out, you might choose to add more dressing.  Some of the ingredients may start drinking up the dressing as it sit in the fridge.  

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