Okay, this salad is so good that I ate it for dinner one night, and then lunch and dinner the next day. Ha! Fine, I’ll admit that I was going out of town the following day so needed to get rid of it and I had nothing else to eat. But… I still really enjoyed it every single time and look forward to making it again!
I love that this salad has a southwestern flare, but isn’t overloaded like a taco salad is. It’s perfect for late summer with the refreshing cherry tomatoes and vibrant colors from the avocado and tomatoes. I adjusted the original recipe to make it “clean-eating” complaint and I don’t think you’d ever notice the changes! It is a bit more time consuming than your average salad – but it’s easily filling enough for a main dish so it’s worth the extra effort!
Southwestern Black Bean, Tomato, and Grilled Chicken Salad
Recipe adapted just slightly from CookFresh Magazine 2011
2 organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can black beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
1 package of pre-washed romaine lettuce, chopped
2 medium firm-ripe avocados
1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, coriander, cumin, 3/4 teaspoons salt and maple syrup. Then, cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, creating four thin, chicken cutlets. Rub both sides of the chicken with the spice mix. You can cook the chicken either by grilling it or in a skillet (I’ve done it both ways, since I don’t have a grill at school). If you’re grilling it, heat grill to medium-high heat and grill chicken for three minutes on top side and about two minutes on bottom side. If you are cooking it in a skillet, head some olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and cook, flipping occasionally until done, about ten minutes.
2. While the chicken cooks, prepare the dressing. In a glass jar with a lid (if you don’t have one, a small bowl works fine too), combine the olive oil, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, the honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk or shake well to combine. (I’ve found this makes extra dressing so I do it in a glass jar so I can save the extras for another salad!)
3. In a separate bowl, combine the black beans, tomatoes, scallion and remaining 2 teaspoons of cilantro and a pinch of salt. Add about 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss gently.
4. In a large bowl or on a serving platter, toss the lettuce with a little bit of the dressing to lightly coat. Slice the chicken breast very thinly and pit and slice the avocado. Arrange the chicken, avocado and black bean/tomato mixture over the lettuce. Drizzle more dressing over salad if desired.