Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

I think there's hope that Spring is coming.

At the very least I am willing it to come with this summery salad I've been eating all week.

As much as I love comfort food, I'm tired of heavy pastas and soups for now and anyway, who's to say that salads aren't a comfort? Leafy greens are delicious too, you know. And bunnies like them, and bunnies are cute, cuddly and comfy so I think I'm onto something here. 

I have eaten this a few times this week while staring at the snowy gray skies and clicking my heels three times. It's working, I promise you, East Coasters! In the meantime, however, there's too much snow outside to even find my grill so I made this would-be-grilled chicken was made on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet. Other than a bit of seasoning on the chicken there is no prep involved and the salad itself can be put together in the amount of time it takes the chicken to cook. 

The dressing comes together quickly with a few pulses of your food processor or blender. It's easy, it's all easy, just like getting dressed in the summertime.

For the Cilantro Lime dressing:
A whole bunch fresh cilantro, about a cup
juice of two limes (about 5 tbsps)
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream 
salt to taste

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Add oil to thin or sour cream to thicken until you reach desired consistency, pulse again to combine.

For the chicken:
1 thinly sliced chicken breast
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt to taste

Combine all seasoning and shake over both sides of chicken breast. Heat about one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat in a non-stick pan and ddd chicken to the hot pan. Flip chicken after 4 minutes and cook for another 4. Remove from pan and let rest before slicing.

For the salad:
3 cups chopped red romaine lettuce
1 chopped plum tomato
1/4 cup corn (roasted if possible)
1/4 canned black beans, rinsed well and lightly salted
1/2 avocado, cut in chunks
1/4 shredded cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
sliced jalapeƱo, optional
chopped cilantro, optional

Assemble salad in a large bowl, in any arrangement you'd like and dress with cilantro lime dressing.

To enjoy this properly turn up the heat, put on some shorts and pretend it really is summertime but I promise, summer is on the way.

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