In case you haven’t heard, hurricane Dorian is fast approaching, and all of us along the southeastern coast of the US are doing what we can to make sure the aftermath is not a complete disaster. For one, I’m on a mission called “No Perishables Left Behind”. Wherever Dorian ends up touching down tonight, we might lose power for a few days in Miami, and I refuse to let good food rot in my fridge as I did 2 years ago when Irma hit us. So, what to do with perfectly fresh vegetables, herbs, and organic chicken breasts? Lime Chicken Salad, of course!
A BETTER CHICKEN SALAD
I have to be honest, whenever I hear someone mention Chicken Salad, the image of a gooey guck drowning in mayo flashes through my mind. Because that is one of my first encounters with Chicken Salad in the US, I’m talking about many years ago when we were all much less health-conscious than we are today. I went to my first standard American barbecue and sure enough there were 4 kinds of “salad” there. Namely, Potato Salad, Egg Salad, Macaroni Salad, and Chicken Salad. All of them equally off-white. No greens were visible despite the “salad” in all their names. They were all generously dressed in store-bought mayo, indistinguishable and interchangeable in looks and taste. The southern Italian in me was incredulous but confident there had to be a better (much better!) way to make a chicken salad.
FRESH INGREDIENTS FOR A BETTER CHICKEN SALAD
Do you know why I named this blog Absolutely Flavorful? Because I can’t stand bland food. Especially, heavy, calorie-laden, high-in-fat yet bland food. It’s a sin, if you ask me. I’m always looking for healthy ways to give my recipes big kicks and bold notes. But I won’t add empty calories in the name of flavor. Uh-uh. I’m making every ingredient count. So, here’s the list of super tasty and nutrient-dense foods that make this salad so yummy and nutritious:
- Shredded Chicken Breasts (mine are organic, skinless and boneless)
- Red Onion
- Chickpeas (leave out if you are currently on the AIP diet or follow a Paleo diet version with no legumes)
- Red Bell Pepper (leave out all peppers if you are currently on the AIP diet and substitute with something crunchy that is compliant, like a cucumber)
- Poblano Pepper (see above)
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Himalayan Salt
WATCH HOW TO MAKE LIME CHICKEN SALAD
How easy is this salad? Very! Besides Chopping, Dumping & Tossing, you only have to cook the chicken breasts until tender enough to shred. I cooked mine in my Instant Pot for 25 minutes and let the steam release naturally. Then I shredded them with my favorite new kitchen tool, the Bear Paws. They make me feel like a bonafide Wolverine.
LIME CHICKEN SALAD: A GREAT ONE-BOWL MEAL!
I know that Chicken Salad usually evokes the idea of a pot-luck situation, a barbecue, or a picnic… Basically, it’s more of an appetizer or side dish for a big meal made of a variety of options. However, this particular salad is incredibly satisfying. Depending on the portion, you can serve it as a one-bowl meal, complete with all the nutrients and macros you need. As for making the chicken ahead of time, I highly recommend having some cooked chicken breast in the fridge for that last-minute healthy meal you might need to put together. I love doing just that on a regular basis. It saves the day and dinner more often than I care to admit.
And that is all, Food Lover. I’m leaving you with the full recipe for this go-to favorite of mine. Let me know if you try it, and feel free to make substitutions to optimize this salad and match it to your palate. I hope you love it!
Lime Chicken Salad
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1 Avocado Diced
- 2 tbsp Red Onion Chopped
- ⅓ cup Chickpeas
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
- 1 Poblano Pepper Chopped
- 5 cups Baby Spinach
- 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro Chopped
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 1 Lime Juiced
- Himalayan Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Cumin Ground
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- If you don't have any ready-cooked chicken to pull or shred, place the chicken breasts inside the Instant Pot with half a cup of water. Season the chicken with salt & pepper first for better flavor.
- Set the timer for 20-25 minutes, depending on your chicken breasts' size and select "natural release" for the pressure. Cook on "high pressure".
- Once the chicken is ready, remove from the Instant Pot and set aside to cool off before shredding.
Lime Chicken Salad
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl
- Whisk together Cumin, Salt, Lime Juice, and Olive Oil
- Add the dressing to the salad bowl and toss thoroughly until everything is coated
- NB: Adjust all seasonings and cilantro to taste
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