Friday, January 31, 2014

Southwestern chicken salad with avocado dressing

I have an unhealthy love for giant salads. It's gotten so bad that on any given day/depending on where I'm working, I can tell you where the nearest and best salad is for your current budget and taste. Want an avocado? Whole Foods doesn't charge extra. Have a taste for greek olives? There's a spot on St. Mark's that gets them fresh. And don't get me started on the Chipotle Burrito Bowl.

The other day, I was hungry and craving a salad (as usual), but didn't want to leave the warm comforts of my apartment - so I put together my own version of a Southwestern chicken salad. I already had the chicken leftover from last week's roast chicken dinner, but I decided to experiment with a homemade salad dressing and it ended up elevating the salad to a whole new level of delicious.

For the dressing: In the mixing cup of your immersion blender, mix 1/2 an avocado (peeled),  2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp. honey, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, a tiny drizzle of olive oil, a dash of salt, and a healthy dash of ginger. If you're not a huge fan of vinegar, you can reduce the amount of apple cider vinegar, but I love the bite that it adds to things. Your dressing will initially be way too thick, so slowly add water (about a tablespoon at a time), until you reach your desired consistency.

For the salad: Toss 1/2 cup of (cooked) chopped chicken breast with corn and black beans, and add salt/pepper/spices to taste (I love me an Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe's). Place the chicken mixture onto a bed of greens, adding sliced cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a slice or two of avocado as decoration. Drizzle your dressing over the salad and add some cracked pepper for a final flourish. Enjoy!

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