A fully textured, fully flavored salad that is as easy as dumping meat in the crock pot, opening a few cans and dicing a few veggies. Filling, easy and delicious…not to mention gluten free, and free of the top eight allergens.
It’s almost summer which means our afternoons will be spent at the park with my kids and the last thing I want to do when I’m sunburned (seriously, have you seen how ghostly white I am?) and tired is throw together a meal. That, or heat up my kitchen.
This salad totally avoids those problems and offers me an easy, satisfying salad.
While I do notice that I eat less meat when it’s summer since I don’t like heating up my kitchen, sometimes you want a hearty salad that has something warm on top of the cool lettuce. That is where my handy dandy slow cooker/crock pot comes to the rescue!
Before we leave to the swimming pool, or whatever other summer adventure awaits us, I’ll throw in two frozen (see…I don’t even take the time to thaw them) chicken breasts. On top of that dump 1 and 1/2 cups salsa and FORGET ABOUT IT.
When I come home, all I do is shred the chicken, drain some canned corn and beans, and dice up some tomatoes and avocado. BAM. WHAMO. A salad is born.
The great flexibility in this recipe is that you can add as much or as little to each salad’s portion. For example, I always selfishly add the most avocado to my salad (hello parable of The Little Red Hen), then I add more beans to my bean-addicted kids’ bowls.
Also, totally use whatever salsa you like! There’s only about a million bottled salsas, so find one that fits your allergies and heat preference. I did say bottled salsa because I think it needs the liquid that bottled has rather than fresh. The chicken soaks up the flavors and sometimes I’ll just stand over the slow cooker and shovel the meat into my mouth as an appetizer for my salad…cuz that makes sense, right?
I hope you’ll enjoy this salad this summer too, but not wait that long to try it!
- 2 frozen chicken breasts (thawed will do, just lessen the timing)
- 1 and 1/2 cups bottled salsa (whatever kind you prefer, as long as it fits your allergies)
- 1/2 head of romaine lettuce (spinach will also do, my son just can't have it)
- 1 can of sweet corn, drained (frozen will do, just thaw it)
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- Vegan ranch for topping
- Place the frozen chicken breasts in your slow cooker and dump the salsa on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, watching that your salsa doesn't burn in the slow cooker. (Some will, if they have a lot of sugar.)
- Once the chicken is cooked, shred it and stir to get up any last remaining salsa.
- Wash and cut the lettuce and tomatoes.
- Assemble your salad by placing a generous bed of lettuce in your bowl. Top with desired amounts of tomatoes, beans, corn and avocado...being sure to add the avocado only at the end so it doesn't brown.
- Serve with your favorite vegan ranch dressing. You can use store bought, which I do in a pinch, or use my recipe here.
Be sure to use a bottled salsa so that there is enough moisture in your crock pot so your chicken doesn't dry out. I wouldn't recommend a fresh salsa.