Tex Mex Chicken Salad

Happy new year y’all. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. If it was anything like mine I’m sure you’ll have consumed far too much alcohol, turkey and chocolate, the same as every year, no doubt.

And in the same vein, the same as every January, I have a hankering for healthy food. I wanted to share with you my favorite salad recipe. I had a count up and I posted seven different versions of this recipe on my Instagram last year. SEVEN! So you know it’s been road tested and fine tuned to ensure maximum deliciousness.

It’s a combination of delicious Mexican flavours, and it has everything – chicken, spices, avocado (who doesn’t love it?) and a bit of punch and zing from the lime and fresh coriander. If you love Tex Mex food this will be right up your street. It’s even better washed down with Corona, but if you’re being healthy (new year, new you) perhaps not. This is sure to brighten up your January! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019.

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This recipe serves two hungry people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 200g sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
  • Half a red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt
  • 140g bag of baby leaf salad
  • I lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • Small handful of salted tortilla chips
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees (180 fan).
  2. Place the chicken on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper, rub the chicken with the spices and season well. Place in the oven to cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, wash the salad and place into a large salad bowl, top with the sliced avocado, sprinkle on the sweetcorn and the sliced red onion.
  4. Top with tortilla chips and chopped coriander.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven, slice and place on top of the salad.
  6. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Fragrant chicken with vibrant Asian slaw in lettuce wraps

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I’ve made this dish twice, once for my husband and once for my best friend. Both times I was met with amazing feedback, and I have to admit, it’s one of my best yet. I’m a huge fan of Asian flavours and this really has it all going on. It’s fresh, zingy and sweet. There are no carbs and the veggies are served raw so it’s super healthy. Using medium chillies in raw form adds a nice heat, not too much, but enough to let you know it’s an Asian dish. There is something fun about food you can eat with your hands, just load up the Romaine lettuce cups with crunchy Asian slaw and top with some sticky fragrant chicken. Roll it up and get stuck in.

This recipe is great for when you’re entertaining because everything can be prepared in advance. The slaw can be prepped and stored in a container in the fridge (undressed), the slaw dressing can be made and popped in a jar with a lid (no need to refrigerate). Prepare the chicken by slicing and covering with the marinade in a glass bowl, wrap with cling and store in the fridge until needed. When you’re ready you can have everything ready and on the table within minutes.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, because some of it is store cupboard stuff and the rest is mostly just veggies. I’ll be entirely honest, the preparation takes a little longer than most dishes I cook, but it’s just a case of finely slicing the veggies. Why not stick the radio on and practice your knife skills one afternoon? You’ll be glad you spent the time when you taste how delicious this dish is. It’s like a party in your mouth, seriously!

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Just look at those colours. This dish makes me long for those fresh spring days that we all know are just around the corner. Why not brighten up a dull February day with this vibrant dinner?  If you’re veggie or vegan, this dish will work equally well with Quorn or Tofu. You can also leave out the nuts if need be, but they do add another welcome texture if you can have them.

Ingredients:

Marinade for chicken: 

  • 60ml teriyaki marinade (the thin kind)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 medium chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 Romaine lettuces

Asian slaw:

  • 6 leaves of red cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 150g Bean sprouts
  • 1 medium red chilli, very finely sliced
  • 7 spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 1/2 a large carrot, , very finely sliced
  • 20g freshly chopped coriander
  • Small handful of roughly chopped peanuts

Reserve 2 finely sliced spring onions, a small handful of chopped coriander and a tsp of sesame seeds for garnish on the chicken once cooked

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions:

  1. Start by preparing the marinade for the chicken. Add the marinade ingredients to a glass bowl and add the diced chicken. Stir well to ensure the chicken is fully coated. Cover and store until needed.
  2. Chop the romainne lettuce in half, using the top sections (they look like little cups), set aside on a large platter.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the slaw dressing together and place in a bowl/dressing jar on the platter with the lettuce.
  4. Chop all of the slaw ingredients (except the bean sprouts) add to a bowl, leaving out the peanuts for garnish. Combine the ingredients and place in a large pile on the platter with the lettuce cups. Garnish the slaw with chopped peanuts and fresh coriander.
  5. Heat a little oil in a large pan (or wok), add the chicken and pour in any access marinade. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Mix the cornflour with a tbsp of water and stir this though the chicken until the sauce thickens.
  7. Place the cooked chicken on a serving plate and top with the spring onion, coriander and sesame seeds.
  8. Serve the chicken with the Romaine lettuce wraps and the Asian slaw, garnished with peanuts.