The best chopped green salad made up of romaine, kale, green and red cabbage tossed together with quinoa, black beans, and avocado to give your immunity a boost and your tastebuds a party!
Best. Salad. Ever.
This is one salad I will hunt down in the fridge to snatch the leftovers. It’s just that good. There are tons of fresh ingredients with loads of texture and flavors to keep me interested. The quinoa, black beans, and avocado do awesome things for this salad. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Now this is a salad. Just check out all of these beautiful ingredients!!
So I always thought I made a mean salad back in my college days, but boy was I wrong. My salads these days could crush those salads back then without even looking. The difference? Let’s start with quinoa. Quinoa has been around for a long time but it hasn’t always been used as much as it is today.
Quinoa (pronounced keenwah) is a whole grain that is also gluten-free. It does not fall under the paleo list of foods. However, quinoa does have all 9 essential amino acids. During processing, the outer coating (saponin) is removed because it is bitter tasting and unpalatable.
Kale also should not go unnoticed. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods, yet it only contains 33 Calories per cup. The top performers include Vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A is particularly important in eye health and cell growth. Vitamin C is an important component in immunity, keeping your skin looking healthy, and is an antioxidant which can help prevent disease and certain cancers. Lastly, Vitamin K is known for its role in blood clotting and bone metabolism. Anyone taking Warfarin knows that Vitamin K is antagonized by the drug so a consistent intake of Vitamin K is very important for these individuals. To read more detailed information about the actions of these vitamins click here.
Another craze on the rise (at least for me) involves beans. I have long been known to stay away from any form of beans unless it was a green one. The taste + texture was just too much for me and I couldn’t handle them at all. Well, times are a changing and beans are somehow making their way into my food and they are doing wonderful things for my recipes. Black beans seem to be the most common ones I use so far. Gotta start slow, ya know!
Black beans are a good source of iron, protein, and fiber, making them a great substitute on meatless meal nights.
This Chopped Chicken Salad is definitely a “go-to quick dinner meal” kinda salad. Yet, it would be a great salad to meal prep lunches for the week. Add the avocado the day of along with the dressing for best results.
Ingredients in this Salad:
Recommended (crushed black bean chips on top!)
BBQ Smothered Chicken Breasts
Southwest Ranch Dressing (aim for one low in sugar)
You gotta try this one!!
The best Chopped Chicken Salad ever.
- 4 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- ¾ cup each green and red cabbage
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- Salt and pepper
- ¾ teaspoon Ground ancho chile powder (or regular chile powder)
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced
- ½ lime, juiced
- Optional: cilantro and crushed black bean chips to garnish
- Cook ½ cup quinoa according to package instructions. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper. Rub ancho chile powder over chicken breasts. In a small bowl add BBQ sauce. Brush both sides of chicken breasts with the BBQ sauce. Discard any remaining BBQ sauce.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Slice into strips.
- In a large bowl, combine romaine, kale, cabbages, and toss together. Add ¾ cup cooked quinoa and black beans and mix. Top salad with chicken, avocado slices, and cilantro.
- Optional but definitely recommend some crushed black bean chips on top when serving.
- Just prior to serving add your dressing.
I cooked the chicken with the Pampered Chef Grill Pan and Press.(affiliate links) Recommend this method if you have one. Preheat to medium high for 5 minutes, and grill for 3-4 minutes, flip, and repeat for another 3-4 minutes until done.
This recipe would work well for meal prep if you added the avocado the day of.
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