As the new year sets in, many of us are starting anew–whether it be new jobs, new semesters in school, or approaching familiar situations with new vigor. On the cusp of each year, people everywhere make resolutions related to fitness and health. This post features a dish that is fresh, tasty, simple, and portable. It is perfect for maintaining that New Year’s resolve, and can be taken along on new work, school, or travel adventures. To top it all off, it is very visually appealing! This Southwestern-themed chopped salad is also quite customizable: you can follow the recipe to the letter or treat it as an a la carte suggestion list. The use of fresh lime juice and salsa in place of a salad dressing lightens the dish but it is still very flavorful and filling.
Head of Romaine lettuce
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups sweet yellow corn
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 medium lime, cut into five wedges
Your favorite salsa or this quick one
1/4 red onion, diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or thawed to room temperature), cut into one-inch chunks
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Cilantro to taste
Salt to taste
Makes five servings.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lay chicken breasts on a foil lined pan and brush with olive oil. Season with black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley, and garlic. Bake for 20 minutes covered in foil and an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Meanwhile, spread corn on a baking sheet in one layer. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast at the same temperature for about 15 minutes.
While the corn and chicken roast, chop the lettuce by first slicing lengthwise along the veins of each outer leaf then chopping in approximately two-inch sections from the tips of the leaves down to about four inches from the base of the stem…unless you enjoy that part of the lettuce, in which case, go in and let have! A good visual on how to chop the Romaine can be found here.
You are now ready to assemble your salad(s), which can be done in a large bowl or five medium-sized containers if you plan to take this on the go. The layering can be tinkered with but is roughly as follows.
- Chopped Romaine lettuce
- Monterrey jack cheese
- Black beans
- Roasted yellow corn
- Diced red onion
- Roasted chicken
Garnish with cilantro and stick a wedge of lime in the corner of each container and squeeze all over salad just before eating. This salad keeps for about four to five days in the refrigerator.
Please ask any questions and leave reviews below. Thanks for reading!