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Southwest Salad


Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado, large
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 cup cilantro, fresh Use the whole bunch, stems and all.
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup water Add more, if needed, for the desired consistency.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 6 cups chopped romaine or your favorite lettuce
  • 1 # chicken breasts
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 tsp taco seasoning, divided


Sweet Potato & Chicken Prep

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grab a large baking sheet. <Cover with foil for easier clean up>
  • Peel and dice sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp avocado oil and 2 tsp taco seasoning. Spread evenly on 2/3 of the baking sheet.
  • Place uncooked chicken in the other 1/3 of the baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp taco seasoning.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Flip the sweet potatoes mid way. If you like your sweet potatoes roasted more, remove chicken when cooked through, and leave the potatoes roasting for another 10 - 20 minutes. <This is what I did!> While this is baking, make the dressing.

Dressing Prep

  • Place all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until well combined.
  • Add more water until desired consistency is reached. <The more water you add, the less flavorful the dressing - so you do want it a little on the thicker side. If you like a thinner dressing, you may want to add more salt to taste.>
  • Place dressing in a mason jar with a lid or an air-tight container.

Salad Creation

  • If serving at a meal, line a large dish with the lettuce. Top in sections with peppers, corn, black beans, chicken, and sweet potatoes. Add dressing right before serving.
  • If meal prepping, find 4 - 5 <4 cup> containers. Place 1 1/2 cups lettuce + a big handful of each topping, dividing evenly among your containers. These will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. Top with dressing right before eating.


Other Thoughts
  • If there's an addition to the salad you don't like, swap it out for something else! Make this your own. Use what you like and what's on sale at the store or in season. 
  • The dressing keeps very well in an air tight container. I recommend adding it right before serving. However, it would likely to fine to add in the morning before work, if needed. Just keep in a cooler or refrigerator until eaten. 
  • Switch up the protein as needed. Try roasted tofu, tempeh, shrimp, or salmon with this salad. 
  • Want to prep even faster? Steam and roast a frozen bag of sweet potatoes - it will take less time to roast. And, top with a packet of salmon or tuna. 
Athletes: A goal of many of my athletes is to eat more veggies. This recipe will help you with that! If you are training hard, you will need more carbohydrates than the beans and sweet potatoes provide with this salad. Add some bread or fruit to the meal. Or, plan for a carb-heavy snack an hour after lunch. 
Healthy Eating: The idea of volumetrics is a powerful one. Our eyes like to see more food on our plate to be satisfied. This is a very high volume meal - full of different flavors - which is sure to help keep you satisfied for hours. 
Kids: Kids may be more receptive to this if they can build their own meal. Or, if they see the toppings each separated on top of the salad before mixing them all in. Kids super skeptical or salad?! Put a couple pieces of each ingredient in a side dish and let them explore it throughout the meal.