Hello again dear friends! As promised, I have a new recipe for you as a follow up to the Healthy Southwestern Marinated Chicken and Zoodles from yesterday. If you marinated and cooked up an extra chicken breast or two last night, this Healthy Southwestern Ranch Salad is the perfect follow up to your healthy eating plan. (If you didn’t marinate the chicken from before, don’t despair! You can still grill or bake a plain boneless, skinless chicken breast to use instead. Of course, you will miss out on some of the extra flavor provided by the marinade, but the salad will still be delicious.)
The Southwestern Ranch dressing whips up in just a few minutes and adds the right amount of zip to the salad greens. Honestly, the hardest part about making this salad (if you cooked your chicken yesterday), is preparing the corn. I recommend grilling the corn on the cob first to impart a hint of smokiness, but you can always boil your corn for a few minutes until tender or even use the frozen kind as a substitute. Regardless of what method you use for the corn, you should feel good about making a healthy, yummy dinner for your family two days in a row with minimal effort on your part!
Healthy Southwestern Ranch Salad
Makes 4 large dinner salads
Ingredients for the Southwestern Ranch Salad Dressing:
- 1 cup plain low fat yogurt
- ½ cup low fat buttermilk
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients for the Salad:
- 2 ears of corn, shucked
- 2 to 3 heads of Romaine Lettuce, rinsed, dried, and coarsely chopped (You can use mixed greens like I did in the photos, but try to steer away from the bitter varieties.)
- 1-2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably marinated), chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1-2 avocados, pitted and chopped
- 1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
- ½ cup crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Heat your grill to 500 degrees. Place the shucked ears of corn on the hot grill and cook until charred all over, turning occasionally. (If you don’t want to grill your corn, you can instead place the ears in a boiling pot of water and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, OR you can substitute frozen and thawed corn kernels instead and skip past this part.) Once your corn is tender, remove from the grill and allow to cool. Once your corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off with a knife and set them aside, discarding the cobbs.
As your corn is cooling, make the salad dressing. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Now you can assemble your salads! (The presentation is up to you. You can assemble them in one large salad bowl and toss everything together before portioning out, or else you divide the ingredients equally between individual bowls.) Place the greens in the bottom of your bowl. Then add the corn kernels, chicken, tomato, black beans, green onions, and avocado. Drizzle the Southwestern Ranch Salad Dressing over everything, according to your preference. If using, sprinkle the shredded cheddar and crushed tortilla chips on top. If you decided to use one big salad bowl, toss everything together and serve; otherwise, present the individual bowls as is and dig in!