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What's Up Magazine

Blackened Chicken Salad

Jul 23, 2013 09:47AM ● By Cate Reynolds

Dinner is, for me, the best meal of the day. Hands down. It's a chance to unwind, catch up with your loved ones and relax a little before the compulsive need to wash dishes sets in. It's also the time when I end up eating the most. A full day has caught up and I could easily devour every morsel set in front of me in record speed. So I search out meals that are lower in calories. Meals that provide massive amounts of both sustenance and satisfaction. This salad, loaded with spicy chicken and tons of veggies, is one of my big go-to meals. It's unbelievably filling and clocks in at under 400 calories for a heaping plate-full.


For spice blend:
2 tsps Smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt

For salad:
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into slices
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 cups lettuce of your choice (iceberg or romaine are great in this preparation)
4 ounces cheddar cheese
1-2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 green bell pepper, diced

For dressing:
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. chives
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk


Begin by preparing your chicken. Coat each piece in the spice blend, ensuring that they are all well covered. Heat one tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add half the chicken. Cook on one side for five minutes. Flip to the other side and cook for another five minutes. Remove to a plate. Turn the heat down a notch and add the remaining olive oil followed by the chicken. Cook for five minutes per side.

While the chicken cooks, prepare your dressing. Combine mayo, yogurt and herbs in a dish and combine well. Stir in cider vinegar to combine. Slowly stir in the buttermilk, stopping when the dressing has reached your desired consistency. You will use more or less 3/4 cup, depending on how thick you want the dressing.

Once complete, assemble the salad. Split the lettuce, carrots and bell pepper among four bowls or plates. Add 1 ounce of cheddar cheese (approximately 1/4 cup) to each plate. Add 3 ounces of chicken to each place. Top with 3 tablespoons of dressing.

Serves 4.

Note - Each salad should contain 1 ounce of cheese, 3 ounces of chicken and 3 tablespoons of dressing to keep it within the 500 calorie range. How much dressing, chicken and cheese you put on your salad will cause the calories to vary. With these measurements, the salad clocks in around 290 calories.