Something I’ve learned over the years is that, when it comes to cooking, simple is often better. When I first started cooking I was eager to try all sorts of things…new kitchen gadgets, a variety of conveniently packaged ingredients, and every spice in the spice rack. As the years have passed I’ve realized that a lot of handy “time saving” kitchen gadgets only end up complicating things (they take up space, require assembly and are often a pain to wash). Most conveniently prepared and packaged foods are full of additives that I’d rather not feed my family. I still love to play with spices, but I’ve learned that no matter how exotic the spices in the spice rack may be, you really can’t beat freshly snipped basil from the garden.
“Simple is better” is at the heart of this recipe for Paleo Chicken Avocado Salad. Start with fresh, healthy ingredients at the peak of ripeness…Roma tomatoes, ripe avocados, English cucumbers, flavorful Kalamata olives and fresh, cage-free chicken. The right ingredients make a world of difference, the flavor of a nice vine-ripened tomato is so wonderful that you don’t want to cover it up with much! The other great thing about a simple salad is that it’s so easy to make. Grill and cube the chicken, and cut the veggies into cubes about the same size. Toss everything together, and then make the dressing!
I love a nice balsamic vinaigrette, and this one goes wonderfully with the chicken and avocado. Just whisk together some organic balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and a touch of stone ground mustard. Add a clove of crushed garlic and whisk again until it’s creamy and emulsified, and then drizzle it over the salad. Fresh, delicious, and healthy! This is a great one-dish lunch or dinner option, and it’s perfect for warm days when you don’t want to heat the kitchen up. The recipe below makes a generous main-course serving for two, double it if you’re feeding a family!
- One organic, cage-free chicken breast cooked or grilled
- One large avocado
- One large, ripe Roma tomato
- 1 1/2 cups cubed English cucumber
- 12 Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup organic balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- Cube the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes, put them in a large bowl, and set aside.
- Wash, trim and cube the vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes, and toss them with the chicken.
- Cut the olives in half lengthwise and toss them with the vegetables and chicken.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard and garlic. Whisk until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.
- Serve the salad on plates with the dressing drizzled over.