CHICKEN COBB SALAD & HEALTHY RANCH DRESSING

CHICKEN COBB SALAD & HEALTHY RANCH DRESSING

This chicken cobb salad rivals any restaurant salad, with less sodium and calories from fat! It starts with crisp romaine topped with fresh tomatoes, green onion, sweet corn, perfectly hard-boiled egg, crisp turkey bacon, avocado, juicy grilled chicken, and creamy ranch dressing. The ranch dressing is made with Greek yogurt and no artificial flavors (like MSG), yet tastes even better than the bottled brands! 

I buy organic for almost all my veggies, simply to limit my exposure to chemicals and maximize nutrient intake. Chemicals in conventional pesticides and herbicides have been linked to endocrine disorders, cancer, even autism and ADHD in children. It always saddens me when I hear people comment in the grocery store “make sure it’s not the organic one” or “I don’t want organic,” as if it’s only a ploy to charge more for an identical product. No, sometimes it costs more to cultivate food the right way. Okay, done ranting 😉

Now, the chicken I always buy “organic,” “naturally raised,” or at the very least “raised without antibiotics.” “Naturally raised” means that the birds were not administered hormones or antibiotics, and were fed a vegetarian diet (i.e, not other chicken parts). The labels “natural” or “all natural” only mean the end product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. “Organic” poultry must be both naturally raised and free range (having access to pasture). Their feed also has to be certified organic – free of GMOs, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. The turkey bacon is also humanely raised and uncured. You can use regular pork bacon of you prefer!

And can’t forget the farm fresh eggs (my mom’s chickens)! “Organic” also means laid by cage-free or free-range hens raised on organic feed and with access to the outdoors. “Cage-free” means the hens can roam in a building, room or open area, but don’t necessarily have access to the outdoors; whereas “free range” means they do have access to the outdoors. Cage-free eggs may not be more nutritious (organic and free range are), but at least they are more humane than piling 11 birds in a 16×20″ cage with no access to sunlight or fresh air.

Speaking of eggs, I have finally perfected my hard-boiled egg method! Here’s how: set your eggs on the counter and put about 6″ of water in a saucepan over high heat with a generous sprinkle of salt. Once the water boils, lower the eggs into the water gently with a serving spoon. Then, set a timer for 12-13 minutes (6-7 minutes for soft-boiled). When the timer goes off, immediately strain off hot water and fill sauce pan with ice cold water and ice cubes. After all the ice cubes melt, peel eggs immediately. If you can’t peel them right away, leave them in the water in the fridge. I’ve tried removing them from the water and this made for a very frustrating peel job. Just don’t! 

Now, here’s the recipe for the salad and dressing! Please rate this recipe and/or comment below if you try it 😉

Chicken Cobb Salad & Healthy Ranch Dressing
Makes 2 servings
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz. raw chicken breast (meat only), pan-fried
  2. 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  3. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1/8 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
  5. Cooking spray
  6. 2 large eggs, hard-boiled
  7. 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
  8. 3 cups romaine lettuce
  9. 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  10. 1 cup sweet corn, from can
  11. 1 cup avocado, diced
  12. 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
Dressing (makes 12 servings)
  1. 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  2. 1/4 cup light olive oil mayo
  3. 3 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
  7. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Hard-boil eggs: Place eggs on the counter. Fill a saucepan with about 6" of water and add a generous shake of salt. Bring water to a boil, then gently lower eggs into boiling water with a spoon. Boil 12-13 minutes for hard-boiled eggs OR 6-7 minutes for soft-boiled. Once timer goes off, remove from heat, strain off hot water and fill saucepan with ice cold water and ice cubes. Once ice melts away, peel eggs OR store in water in the fridge until ready to peel.
  2. Cook chicken: Season chicken breast with pepper, garlic powder, and salt (optional) on both sides. Pan-fry the chicken in a skillet coated with cooking spray for 6-7 minutes per side until browned and no pink remains. Set aside.
  3. Cook bacon: Pan-fry bacon in a skillet coated with cooking spray until browned on both sides. Set aside to cool, then chop into bits.
  4. Make dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Wash and chop veggies. Drain canned sweet corn.
  6. Divide veggies between two plates, topping each with half the cooked chicken, half the bacon bits, one sliced hard-boiled egg, and half a cup of diced avocado. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. of dressing and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Calories (per serving, salad no dressing): 463kcal, Fat: 22.2g, Sat fat: 4.2g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 44g, Sodium: 411mg
  2. Calories (per serving, dressing only): 48kcal, Fat: 1.2g, Sat fat: 0.2g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 222mg
  3. © 2017 No Excuses Nutrition. If you wish to publish this exact recipe digitally (website, blog, ebook) or in tangible format (cookbook, magazine), you must first request permission by emailing noexcusesnutritionllc@gmail.com. If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."
No Excuses Nutrition http://www.noexcusesnutrition.com/

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