During college I was in love with a salad from a local restaurant. It was always refreshing, consistent, and filling! My best girlfriends and I ate it at least once a week — it was our favorite! I swear the waiters began to know us by name, but that MIGHT have been because we always took at least 10 of the free lollipops they set out in a large bucket. I don’t know why we thought free meant endless supply?
Anyway ordering dirty martinis and a chopped salad with no bacon and dressing on the side was our tradition.
I do have a little advice for you: always eat food before martinis. Seriously remember that.
So, what’s a chopped salad anyway?
It’s simply a salad that includes fresh produce and ingredients that have been ‘chopped’ (or just cut up to fairly equal size), then the salad is typically tossed together. Flavors can be adjusted and dressing may be used. Chopped salads are very popular in restaurants as they make the perfect lighter meal.
I know the question you want to ask me. And the answer is YES, you will look like Heidi Klum if you eat salads like this for dinner… every night… for the rest of your life.
To make the salad I started with fresh romaine hearts then I added protein: pulled chicken breast and chickpeas. The rest? Grilled sweet corn (or whatever you have on hand), fresh grape tomatoes, avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and fresh chopped cilantro. Then tossed (or drizzled) with any dressing you desire. I drizzled mine with my favorite BBQ sauce; it was heavenly.
Seriously this salad is just GOOD. It makes you feel good. In fact I’m starting to think it even makes good things happen. Just the other day I found $20 I never knew I had. Yesterday I made the best banana bread I have EVER made in my life. Today I had an amazing meeting! Oh, and I’ll be traveling again soon!
In any case, I need to eat more chopped salads. That way I can eat more cake.
You see how my brain thinks? It a vicious cycle.
Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad
- 2 large romaine hearts, washed and chopped
- 1 cup pulled cooked chicken breast
- 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3/4 cup sweet corn (I grilled mine)
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
- 1 small avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup BBQ dressing, if desired
- In a large bowl add lettuce, top with all ingredients except for avocado and BBQ dressing. Toss salad gently.
- Place into cold salad bowls. Garnish with diced avocado and drizzle with BBQ dressing if desired. Serve with low-fat corn tortilla strips.
To make vegan omit chicken and goat cheese. Add in roasted diced red peppers for more flavor.
You may you any dressing you like. Sometimes I like adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and find that I don't need any dressing at all.