Who says salads need to be boring? Here’s a new flavorful salad to add to your rotation. It’s full of tasty southwestern flavors and topped with my very favorite 21 Day Fix ingredient… avocado!
Ok, so I’m a little late getting this recipe posted this morning. I slept in. It happens, but not usually to me. I generally wake up every morning between 7 and 7:30 without fail. However, the hubs and I took the girls to an amusement park yesterday and we were so beat down from walking all day long that 3 of us slept in until 9 and my oldest is STILL sleeping! Honestly, it felt really good. Best night sleep I’ve had in a long time! Who needs Ambien? Just shell out $300 for a day at the park!
It’s been a really long time since I’ve been to an amusement park, that I almost forgot how much fun they are (and how much pain those wooden roller coasters can inflict! I may or may not have permanent damage, people. It was crazy.)
Anyway, remember last week when I posted this fantastic 21 Day Fix Ranch? Well, this is one of my favorite ways to use it! With just two extra ingredients, it tastes completely new and is SO FREAKING GOOD. If you already have a batch made up in the fridge, you can just add in some cilantro and southwest seasoning and you’re good to go! If not, the full instructions are below.
This does make some extra dressing (and sometimes I’ll even double this recipe to have plenty leftover) It’s great as a dip with fresh veggies, or on top of some grilled or roasted ones (omg, so good) – I’ve never tried it, but I bet it would be really delicious on some roasted potatoes…mmm…. even as a sauce on a pita pizza?? Maybe I’ll work on that next!
The pepper jack cheese adds a little bit of heat, but if you really want to bump it up, you could always add some diced chile peppers to the salad or chipotle paste to the dressing. Instructions for chipotle paste can be found in my Chipotle Pork Soft Tacos with Pineapple Salsa recipe.
This salad is one of my favorites and has been my go-to lately. Especially if you’re an avocado lover like me – in fact, I came up with it because I was looking for more ways to use avocados (so yummy!) If you don’t groove on avocado, no worries, just omit it – hey, then you can bump up the cheese if you want!
Tasty salads are where it’s at and I’m always on the search for new flavorful ways to enjoy them. I’d love to hear your favorite combos, let me know below in the comments!
For the salad:
- 1 cup (packed) chopped romaine or your favorite greens
- 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes / sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and well drained
- 2 1/2 tbs shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2/3 cup diced, cooked chicken breast (heated through)
- 2 tbs Southwest Ranch Dressing
- 1/4 of a medium-sized avocado, diced
- lime wedges and extra cilantro, for serving
Southwest Ranch Dressing:
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 tbs 1% or 0% Greek yogurt
- 2 1/2 tbs low-fat milk or unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
- 1 1/2 tsp 21DF Southwest Seasoning
- 1 tbs minced green onion
- 1 tbs cilantro, finely chopped
- black pepper, to taste
21DF Southwest Seasoning:
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
First, make the seasoning blend:
- Mix all ingredients together and put in something that seals, since you're only using a small amount (I love this blend so much, I usually make a triple-batch.)
Make the dressing:
- In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, lemon/lime juice and 21DF Southwest Seasoning. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth - this may take a minute or two. Put into a Tupperware-like container (again, this makes more than you need), add the minced green onion, the cilantro and season with black pepper.
Assemble the salad:
- Put the greens, tomatoes, red onion, black beans, pepper jack cheese and cooked chicken in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over all. Top with your diced avocado, sprinkling it with a little bit of salt first. Garnish with some extra chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Try not to eat at every meal. Then again, why not?!
Container Equivalents: 1 1/2 GREEN, 1 RED, 1 BLUE, 1/2 YELLOW
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 salad with 2 tbs of dressing
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 Total Fat: 16g