Southwestern grilled chicken salad
Paleo-Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
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.
- 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.
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.
Cook the chicken
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
While the chicken cooks and rests, prepare the remaining salad ingredients and the dressing.
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.
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.
Assemble the salad
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.
- 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.