The equivalent of a spicy chicken sandwich with all the fixins, carried on a bed of greens. Crispy, fresh, and so delicious.
Pregnant or not, I would rank spicy chicken sandwiches pretty high on my list of favorite foods. All things spicy have always made up most of that list. Salads, not so much.
Back in high school, I used to go on these ridiculously strict diets that consisted mostly of eating salads, snacking on pretzels, and basically denying myself anything yummy. If you’ve ever been around someone who is doing this, you know that they tend to be grumpy and miserable. I know I was.
It wasn’t until I saw the video and pictures of myself from the bathing suit portion of the pageant I dieted for that I finally woke up. I looked terrible. My ribs stuck out an inch beyond my stomach and I didn’t feel any better about myself. If anything, I felt worse because I was so obsessed with looking perfect. Thank God I came to my senses and vowed never to do that to myself again. Which at some points resulted in eating essentially nothing but pizza and hot cheetos, but thats a story for a different day.
I tried to find a photo from the pageant, but apparently have destroyed all evidence. I did find this photo though, which was taken during a food binge immediately after. I’m the blonde one with the look of euphoria on her face. I can’t believe this was 9 year ago!
The point is, I didn’t understand what health meant. And I definitely didn’t understand how satisfying a salad could be! I was eating these things because I “had” to, and for the wrong reasons. Health should be a choice that you make freely and feel good about, not something that tortures you and puts you down.
So these days, I really love a good salad. Its such a good way to get a heaping serving of raw veggies and get yourself back on track. And this one has the protein and fats to keep you going if you’re working out too.
I start my salads one of two ways: with spinach, or a mixture of lettuce and spinach. I’ve never been a huge fan of lettuce – its watery and spinach has better nutritional value. But it does hold up well to dressing and can add an extra crunch, so use romaine or butter lettuce if you’d like.
Here’s where it gets good. Think of creating a really bomb spicy chicken sandwich. You need a sauce, something with crunch, a bit of freshness, and of course – really good spicy chicken.
My all-time favorite chicken sandwich came from a food truck I worked on in El Paso, TX called Grill On The Go. The husband & wife owners had a wood-fire grill on board, about 30 different homemade sauces to choose from, and made the most amazing spicy seasoning for their chicken sandwiches. After many trials, my current version is as close as I’ve been able to get! And it also doesn’t include salt, so you can add a little spice to already seasoned foods.
Once you’ve got the perfect grilled & seasoned chicken, the rest is easy. The tomatoes and avocado brighten up the salad and the honey mustard dressing has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. And the bacon… well, do you really need an excuse to eat more bacon?
And there you have it! A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Style Salad with Bacon and Honey Mustard Dressing. We’re calling it the Spicy Chicken Bacon Salad.
Spicy Chicken Bacon Salad Recipe
- 2 medium organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp spicy seasoning (recipe below)
- 8 ounces organic spinach
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup organic grape tomatoes
- 1 hass avocado
- 1/2 cup homemade honey mustard dressing*
Spicy Seasoning Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp organic chili powder (mild)
- 2 tbsp organic paprika
- 1 tbsp ground organic cumin
- 1 tbsp organic cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp organic garlic powder
- 1 tsp organic onion powder
Have your dressing and your spicy seasoning made and set aside.
Rub your chicken with desired amount of spicy seasoning, salt, and pepper. Save the rest of the spicy mix for next time! Grill the chicken for extra flavor, or cook it in a cast iron skillet on the stove until cooked through. Allow your chicken to cool.
Crisp the bacon in a pan over medium heat. Drain on a paper towel and crumble once cooled.
If using lettuce instead of spinach, wash and dry it completely before chopping. Feel free to make this salad with a mixture of lettuce and spinach! Cut the tomatoes in half and cut the avocado into small chunks.
Assemble the salad. Split the greens into 4 bowls. Sprinkle each with 1/4 of the avocado, 1/4 of the tomatoes, and one slice each of crumbled bacon. Slice the chicken and place on top of the salad. Drizzle everything in that yummy dressing and enjoy!