I find that a common debate among my classmates and friends is how much is too much? How busy is too busy? If you’re like me, you prefer to be on the busy side, feeling productive and needed. I’m not sure if this is a product of the society in which we live or a fact of life for humans. Either way, we struggle to find a balance of time spent working to make money, working to further our careers and passions, studying for class, building friendships, having fun, and simply relaxing with some solo time. Do you guys struggle with this, too?
A friend of mine recently decided to get in over her head by working full-time and taking classes four nights a week. Don’t worry, she gave me permission to describe her situation this way. Plus, I’m like the ultimate best supportive friend ever so I make up for blogging about her craziness by feeding her. Obviously. We have class together twice a week right now and her lack of time to eat any substantial form of a meal inspired the creation of this salad.
Easy to make and easy to transport, I now rely on this salad as a healthy lunch option and, of course, as a way to feed my friend! The cilantro and green onion add a really wonderful freshness to this salad, and the creaminess of the dressing and avocado pair deliciously with salty, crunchy corn chips. It saves well for 3-4 days without the flavors changing or diminishing, and I’m sure this would be a hit at a summer bbq or party. And, as you can see, this meal is vibrantly chock full of red, green, and yellow whole foods — always a good sign that you’re consuming a meal that will not only please your taste buds, but your body, too.
If you’re a vegetarian, this would be equally delicious without the chicken, but consider adding more beans for substance. The wonderful thing about this recipe is how flexible it is — add or subtract ingredients as you see fit, based on your tastes or what you have available to you. This salad is delicious served with a heaping pile of your favorite corn chips, or for a slightly healthier option you could put it over a bed of lettuce. Either way, enjoy every bite!
Avocado Chicken Salad
Yield: 3-4 meal size servings
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium chicken breast, baked and shredded
1 large avocado, chopped
1/2 cup whole black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
Heat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Pour a small amount of extra virgin olive oil on the tin foil and add a sprinkling of salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper.
Rub both sides of the chicken breast in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
When the chicken is cooked, put it on a plate and allow to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
In a large bowl, combine the avocado, black beans, tomatoes, corn, green onions, and cilantro.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces with your hands. Add the chicken to the bowl of other ingredients.
Add the white vinegar and mayonnaise to the bowl. Add a small amount of salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper.
Taste the salad and add additional vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, or pepper as needed.