Southwest Protein Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing
I'm in love with prepackaged salads that I can grab + go when I'm in a rush. I often pick them up when we are road tripping or when I'm busy with meetings and need a fast and healthy option. But, just like lattes, those prepackaged food options can add up at $5+ each, and they are secretly not that healthy for you!
I checked the back of a couple of my favorites recently to find that the calories and sodium nearly doubled or tripled just by adding dressing. YIKES!! I hate having to compromise my health for taste so I decided to recreate one of my faves at home for a fraction of the price and for a way healthier guilt-free option! These salads are full of flavor and color and the dressing is tangy and savory and really brings out all of the toppings of the salad! Plus, its super quick and easy to make and you get to feel proud of yourself for creating your entire meal from scratch! *pats on back*
I packaged these in tupperware containers for the week that I can easily throw in my bag when I'm out and about. Check out the simple recipe below:
for the salad //
- Mixed greens with spinach
- Boiled eggs, (1 per salad)
- 1 can of black beans (I get low sodium)
- 1 bag frozen sweet yellow corn
- 1 bag of organic broccoli slaw (from Trader Joes)
- 1 red, yellow or green pepper
- Cherry tomatoes (I used heirloom for fun colors!)
- Fresh bunch of cilantro
- Baked boneless chicken or turkey breast, optional
for the dressing //
- 1 avocado, on the softer side
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (so delicious has a coconut dairy free version)
- salt + pepper, to taste
for the salad: this is a super simple salad to create and assemble! if you're eating it at home, just assemble everything in a large bowl for guests or a personal bowl for yourself. the portions are pretty much up to you, although I do recommend about 3 oz of chicken/turkey (about half of 1 breast), just 1 egg (which I remove the yolk from) and about 1 cup of mixed greens with spinach. from there, just use a few spoonfuls of the corn and beans, a few sprigs of cilantro and peppers, chopped and a small handful of tomatoes. See the pictures as an indication for 1 salad portion :)
for the dressing: half the avocado, remove the seed and peel. combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. add salt and pepper as you desire. NOTE: I did NOT use water in my dressing because I'm a fan of more creamy dressings. If you prefer a looser dressing, add water a little bit at a time until you get your desired consistency!
When you're ready to eat your salad just toss or shake together with dressing!
tips for leftovers: turn this into a lunch time wrap by combining all ingredients in a tortilla or build your own tacos for a delicious taco tuesday (or wednesday or thursday) ...you get the picture!
this is such a yummy, light salad that's chock full of protein! perfect for lunch, dinner or post-workout! enjoy!!