Grain-Free Southwest Salad

Grain-Free Southwest Salad

Calling this a “salad” is a bit of a misnomer. Our Grain-Free Southwest Salad is a hearty meal the whole family can enjoy. The individual components can also be set up buffet-style for parties or as a great game day substitute for frankenchese nachos.

The Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing also works as a topping (it’s awesome on fish tacos) and Tex-Mex veggie dip and using a quick and easy pico de gallo in place of plain tomatoes just pushes this whole situation over the top. This Grain-Free Southwest Salad is a powerhouse of flavors, textures, and nutrients. Everybody wins.

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Grain-Free Southwest Salad

Grain-Free Southwest Salad

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 salads 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baking (for chicken)
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Southwestern

Scale

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, divided lobe and tip
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Lakanto Classic Sweetener
  • Optional: 1/8 tsp cayenne

For the Salad

  • 5 cups spring mix, baby spinach, or chopped romaine lettuce (or combination thereof)
  • 2 ripe avocados, divided and sliced or chopped
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup homemade pico de gallo or diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Optional: Chopped cilantro and thinly sliced red onions for garnish (if not using pico de gallo)

For the Dressing

  • 1 7-oz container Fage 2% Greek yogurt
  • Reserved 1/2 avocado from salad, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and short stems, tightly packed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp diced fresh jalapeno
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch each of onion powder and ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Chicken

  1. Add all dry ingredients to a small container and shake to combine. There will be leftover seasoning (store up to 3 months in an airtight container). Add chicken to a zip top bag, then add olive oil, lime juice, and one tablespoon of the spice mixture. Remove air from bag and seal, then massage to distribute seasoning and oil. 
  2. Marinate chicken overnight or minimally for an hour before cooking. 
  3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken on a rack over a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove chicken from oven, tent lightly with foil, and let rest 15-20 minutes. Slice just before serving.

For the Salad

  1. Prep all vegetables, reserving half of one of the avocados for the dressing. Remove seeds and veins from peppers.
  2. It really is worth going the extra step and making pico de gallo instead of just using tomatoes, especially if you have a vegetable chopper (you can find these just about anywhere).

For the Dressing

  1. Place all ingredients except for yogurt in a food processor and pulse until well combined (enough to break up the avocado chunks and cilantro leaves).
  2. Add yogurt and continue to pulse, scraping down sides as needed, until only small chunks of avocado remain. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Putting it Together

  1. Divide the lettuce mixture between 4 plates and top each with black beans, avocado, peppers, pico de gallo or diced tomatoes, and chicken. 
  2. Top with dressing (or serve it on the side) and serve immediately.


Notes

The dressing stores very well for 2-3 days in an airtight glass container with a layer of plastic wrap directly on top to prevent the avocado from browning.

Keywords: Grain-Free Southwest Salad, Grain-Free, Southwestern, Tex-Mex, Salad, Pico de Gallo, Black Beans, Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing, Greek yogurt dressing, party food, dinners, leftover lunches

GRAIN-FREE SOUTHWEST SALAD
GRAIN-FREE SOUTHWEST SALAD

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