Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mexican Chicken Salad

Before I get into today's recipe, I am very happy to announce that my second Paleo Nutrition Seminar is being held next Monday, September 24th at CrossFit Blue Grass in Louisville, KY. If you are in the Louisville area and would like to attend, you can view the Facebook event invite here. I am super excited because this is a fairly new CrossFit affiliate and a lot of the members are new to CrossFit, as well as Paleo. I only just hosted my first Practical Paleo Nutrition Seminar at ClarkFloyd CrossFit a few weeks ago and I posted a full recap here. I plan to update it with some of the new information I will be reviewing at my next seminar, I'll let you know when I do.


Okay, if you have a food processor, this could be one of the easiest meals you'll ever make. If not, don't fret! You can still make this zesty chicken salad, it'll just take a bit more elbow grease. should get a food processor. Seriously, I don't know how I went through nearly thirty years of my life without my food processor. Now, I use it almost daily to shred veggies, mix soups and sauces and concoct new recipes like this Mexican Chicken Salad!

For the basic recipe, I used shredded, baked chicken breasts mixed with a simple tomato, pepper and onion salsa that I made in the food processor. This chicken can be enjoyed warm or chilled and served over a bed of salad greens, wrapped in a big romaine leaf or in a bowl topped with sauteed peppers and onions and diced avocado.

I know that when I find a recipe I really like, eventually I will put my own little spin on it and make it my own. I'll substitute ingredients or use different spices based on what I am craving at that moment or just what is lying around the kitchen. I try to keep that in mind when I am creating new recipes for this blog, too. Most of my recipes can be altered in some way depending on your tastes or the contents of your pantry. By cooking this way, you should never be stuck in a rut eating the same meals day after day. 

This Mexican Chicken Salad is a great example of that way of thinking! You can take the basic recipe I am using here and give it a little unique flair. Maybe you love chipotle - just throw a chipotle pepper in the food processor when you make the salsa. Or you could substitute shredded turkey for the chicken. There are tons of possibilities!

Mexican Chicken Salad
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


For the Chicken:
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Salsa:
1 large tomato, quartered
1/2 red onion, cut into large chunks
1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed and halved
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brush chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake on a baking sheet for 35 to 40 minutes, until no longer pink in the center.

While chicken is baking, add all salsa ingredients to a food processor and pulse using the chopping blade until finely chopped. Transfer the salsa to a large bowl and clean out the food processor. You will be using it to shred the chicken. (If you don't have a food processor, just dice the tomato, onion, pepper, cilantro and garlic and add to a bowl with the lime juice, salt and pepper)

Remove chicken from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut each breast into three or four smaller pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse using the chopping blade until shredded. (If you don't have a food processor, the chicken can also be shredded using a fork)

Add chicken to bowl with salsa and mix well with a fork.

Refrigerate for at least two hours until chicken salad is chilled.