So this morning I decided we needed a bit of Mexican flavor. Once again, I forgot photos. Sorry about that. This is sort of like the Cafe Rio style chicken salad, but different. I wanted to lighten it up a bit and add some more vegetable content and less carbohydrate content. I also wanted to lighten up the fat level of the Cafe Rio salad, as that one can get kind of high in calories for sure. I hope you like what I did, and maybe you can try it for your family too!
Mexican Chicken Salad
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c taco seasoning
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 c grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 bag crispy tortilla strips (sold near the croutons)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 c grated pepper jack or monterey jack cheese (could also use Mexican cotija cheese instead)
a tortilla for each person you are serving (salad makes enough for about 4 people)
1 lime, quartered
1 avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 c Newman's Own Light Lime Vinegarette (this was just the best mexican salad dressing I could find without it being a creamy ranch base that's loaded with calories)
In the morning of the day you make this, place thawed chicken, chicken broth, and taco seasoning in your crock pot. Set for 4-6 hours on low. Occasionally check on the chicken and flip pieces over to keep from drying out.
Just before dinner time, chop your lettuce, add tomatoes, tortilla strips, cheese, and beans. Shred the chicken and stir to coat with the broth and taco seasoning (which should have formed a sort of sauce while cooking all day).
Mash the avocado well and then add the salad dressing and mix well til you get a smooth consistency. This becomes a new "avocado lime dressing."
If you so choose, you can place the tortillas in a tin pie plate for each person and bake each one to make kind of a tortilla bowl. I chose not to do this in order to keep my kitchen cooler. If you don't bake them, just serve them on the side of the salad.
Add chicken to salad, and dressing and toss well. Do not add chicken until you are just about ready to serve, as hot chicken will wilt the lettuce and other ingredients. Serve in your tortilla bowls immediately after tossing with dressing and chicken.
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