Lately I have been craving fresh salads filled with tender greens and brightly colored vegetables. What is it about a colorful salad that is always so appealing? The bold colors of this salad invite you to dive right in and enjoy. It is a hearty salad perfect for a weeknight dinner.
I dream up concoctions in the kitchen based on various things. Sometimes I am inspired by the weekly haul from our CSA share and other times it is something my grandmother or another family member used to make. This recipe came out of a mixture of my love of fajitas and lack of food in the fridge. My husband has been known to say in the past that I can make something delicious out of nothing. Well, a near-empty fridge was the start of this salad.
One evening, after a long day of errands and work I looked in the fridge and realized all I had was chicken, peppers and a door full condiments. Dinner needed to magically appear out of that and the sad little bowl on the counter, which usually contains onions, garlic and some other random produce. I could not be bothered to run to the store so for dinner that evening we ate chicken rubbed with taco seasoning and fajita-style peppers and onions. I told my husband it was Paleo-style fajitas so it seemed like I put forth some effort and he just laughed, knowing I was trying to cover up my ill attempt at dinner. We got a good laugh out of it (that was not my first attempt to pull one over on him)! It was a sad little meal but it was delicious and so I decided to turn it into a salad with a yummy cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Fajita Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Author: The Ruby Kitchen
Ingredients for Dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt & Pepper to taste
Ingredients for Salad
1 lb. chicken cutlets
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 orange bell peppers
1 head of lettuce, washed and cut/torn
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, sliced
1. To make dressing, combine ingredients in a bullet-style blender and blend for a couple seconds. Set aside.
2. Slice peppers and onions into strips and set aside while chicken cooks. You’ll want to prep the rest of the salad ingredients here too.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Coat chicken with cumin, salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Cook peppers and onions for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are soft but still have a crisp bite to them.
5. Slice the chicken into strips and serve with the remaining ingredients. I like to serve salad segmented as the picture shows, but you can mix it all up if you’d like!