I absolutely love a salad that is a full meal, independent of anything else. Salads offer so much variety of color, flavor, and texture all in one place. A full-meal salad is a fundamentally different experience than those namby-pamby cafeteria salads with their bits of iceberg lettuce and carrot shreds that you have to drench with a quart of ranch to make worthy of consumption.
This salad is of course one of the former. It stars this chipotle-lime chicken and this creamy avocado-lime dressing, and it’s hearty and flavorful enough that you can omit the chicken if you want a fresh meatless meal. The array of flavors here work perfectly together. The chipotle-lime chicken and roasted sweet potatoes are somewhat spicy on their own, but combined in the salad with the creamy dressing, they create a great mild-medium heat. Sweet corn, smoky black beans, and green onions round everything out over a bed of crisp lettuce.
I wouldn’t have guessed my 3-year-old would be into salads, but surprise, he not only wanted thirds, but chose it as his snack the next day. The chipotle roasted sweet potatoes were definitely the favorite item!
Another great feature of this salad is that the ingredients can all be prepared in advance. You can cook a couple pounds of chicken ahead of time and use half for one meal (or freeze it) and save the other half for this salad later on. You can also roast the sweet potatoes and whip up the dressing ahead of time. Then all you have to do is open a can of beans and a can of corn and you’re ready to go.
It seems like everyone on the web is working on some diet or another. I’m not, but I do look for nutritious meals that don’t sacrifice taste. This is one of them! High in lean protein and veggies, this chipotle southwestern salad is a winner on our table–speaking of which, I’m (very) happy to report that our family now has a dinner table! As in, an actual hardwood-not-cardboard dinner table. Complete with chairs. Woot!
Inspired by Pinch of Yum
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 lb sweet potatoes
- 2 TBS oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 recipe chipotle-lime chicken
- 1 recipe avocado-lime dressing , cut into bite-sized pieces
- cotija or queso fresco cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 425* and line a baking sheet with foil.
Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place on the foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with 2 TBS oil and spices, using your hands to ensure they are evenly coated. Spread into a single layer on the pan and roast at 425* for 15 minutes. Flip/stir the sweet potatoes on the pan and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes or until they are beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
Arrange lettuce on salad plates and top with sweet potatoes, beans, corn, chicken, green onions and cheese if desired. Serve with avocado-lime dressing.