Chicken & Avocado Salad

When everything is so cold and dark, sometimes you crave something fresh and green. When I saw the recipe for Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing over at Noble Pig, I knew I had to try it out as a cure for my winter blahs.

The original version is for chicken salad sandwiches, but I thought it’d make a great dinner salad.

1 pound left-over chicken breast meat, sliced into strips
1 avocado
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ranch dressing mix (Penzeys Buttermilk Ranch in this case)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 scallion (white and green parts)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
2 heads romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine the avacado, mayo, dressing mix, buttermilk, scallion, parsely, garlic, mint, cilantro, and lemon juice and pulse to combine. Add 1/4 cup of the water and pulse again, adding more water if needed until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Arrange lettuce on a plate. Top with peppers, chicken, avocado dressing, and some grated Parmesan.

The Verdict: ★★★★☆ This was so good that I plan on always making extra chicken so we have it around for this dish. The dressing had a tangy, buttery, fresh taste that went great with the smoky chicken and peppers.

Next time I would do this as a chop salad – finely chop together the lettuce, peppers, chicken, and maybe add some bacon and cucumber too. Then toss it with just a bit of the dressing and serve with more dressing on the side. I’d probably also switch out lime juice for the lemon to give it just a bit more zip bang.

The Nutrition: Makes 4, 275-calorie servings. The veggies are free so it’s only 7 Weight Watcher’s points if you leave off the cheese.

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