EXPLORE:

Southwestern grilled chicken salad

Paleo-Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free

4 Servings, 530 Calories/Serving

20 – 30 Minutes

Consider this paleo-friendly main course a healthier taco salad, with buttery avocado and lean chicken cutlets instead of sour cream and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken cutlets (about ¼ pound each)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans*
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 or 4 red radishes
  • 3 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 6 or 7 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • About ½ cup corn tortilla strips* (cooked in coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes (optional)
  • *Not paleo; omit for a paleo-strict version.

Ingredient IQ

Charles Elmer Doolin, the founder of Fritos®, helped popularize the modern taco salad with his Tacup, a meal of ground beef, beans, sour cream, and cheese in a bowl made of Fritos. A prototype of his Tacup mold is in the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Instructions

1

Cook the chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
In a large grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.
While the chicken cooks and rests, prepare the remaining salad ingredients and the dressing.

2

Prep the remaining salad ingredients

  • Rinse the black beans.
  • Peel the cucumber, if desired, and trim off the ends; cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
  • Trim the ends from the radishes; thinly slice the radishes.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits, scoop out the flesh, and cut the flesh into ¼-inch-thick slices.

3

Make the dressing

  • Zest the limes.
  • Juice the limes.
  • Coarsely chop the cilantro; divide into two equal portions, one for the dressing and one for garnish.
  • If using, remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the jalapeño; finely chop the jalapeño. Wash your hands after handling.
In a large bowl, stir together the lime zest and juice, half the cilantro, sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, and as much jalapeño as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4

Assemble the salad

For a paleo-strict version, dress the black beans separately: Transfer 1 tablespoon dressing to a small bowl, add the beans, and toss to coat; set aside for the non-paleo diners. Otherwise, add the beans directly to the large bowl with all of the dressing.
To the large bowl with the dressing, add the arugula, cucumber, radishes, and tomatoes and toss to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

5

Serve

Transfer the salad to individual plates and top with the chicken, avocados, and, for non-paleo diners, as many beans and tortilla strips as you like. Garnish with the remaining cilantro, sprinkle with as much Aleppo chile as you like, and serve.

Kids can!
  • Rinse the beans.
  • Scoop out the avocado.
  • Juice the limes.
  • Stir together the dressing.
  • Add tortilla strips to their salad.

Nutrition per serving: Protein: 34g (68% DV), Fiber: 13g (52% DV), Total Fat: 30g (46% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.5g, Saturated Fat: 4.5g (23% DV), Cholesterol: 85mg (28% DV), Sodium: 240mg (10% DV), Carbohydrates: 33g (11% DV), Total Sugars: 4g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Paleo-strict nutrition: Calories: 420, Protein: 30g (60% DV), Fiber: 9g (36% DV), Total Fat: 27g (42% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 4g (20% DV), Cholesterol: 85mg (28% DV), Sodium: 190mg (8% DV), Carbohydrates: 16g (5% DV), Total Sugars: 3g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

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