Recipe of the Week: Green Chili Chicken Salad

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This recipe is adapted from one we used in the community when I worked for the Los Angeles County Nutrition Program. We took traditional recipes submitted by the Latino community we were working with, and revised them somewhat to reduce fat, calories and sodium without compromising flavor (as much as possible). This one was originally submitted by one of our promotoras, Idalia del Prado. A promotora is a community member who is trained to teach healthy habits within that community.

Green Chili Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked chicken breast, shredded (or chunks)
2 - 7oz cans of green salsa (tomatillo)
1 bag prewashed and cut romaine lettuce, (5-10 oz bag depending on how lettucy you want the salad to be)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
1 - 14 ½ oz can black or pinto beans, rinsed
½ cup low fat (light) sour cream
12 tortilla chips

Instructions:
1. Place chicken and green salsa in a pot or sauté pan and cook for about 5 minutes (you can simply mix the chicken with the salsa and skip the cooking part. Simmering it with the salsa helps lock in the flavors but if you're time constrained don't worry about it).
2. If you did warm up the chicken and salsa set aside to cool for a few minutes.
3. In a large salad bowl gently toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and beans.
2. Add the chicken and toss.
3. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream and a couple of chips.
4. Serve immediately

Serves 6


You can find precooked chicken usually in the meat section of your grocery store. If you've got time on your hands and want to save money, buy raw chicken breast. To cook it, bring the chicken to a boil in a large pot. Simmer until cooked through, remove from the pot and allow it to cool for a few minutes (keeping food safety in mind - 2 hours is the limit for meat to be out of the refrigerator so don't forget about it). Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it or chop it up into chunks. Return it to same pot, add the green salsa and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from heat allowing it to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad).


The salsa in this recipe acts as the dressing helping keep fat and calories down, plus adding to your vegetable intake. Brilliant!

Nutrients per serving:
Calories: 339
Protein: 31 g
Fat: 12 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 570 mg (that's if you cook the chicken yourself; precooked chicken may or may not have added sodium, check the nutrition facts label and ingredients)
Fiber: 7 g (wow!)
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Iron: 4 mg (nice)
Vitamin A: 325 RE
Calcium: 182 mg

Enjoy and have a fruit and veggie filled day!
(photo courtest of fonticulus)
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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