Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad

It’s a rare treat for me to get avocados at a decent price here in NY.  We always see them during the Super Bowl (for guacamole), but really the best time to buy them is now. But, I got a great deal at Imperfect Foods on both limes and avocados the other day. So, I decided to take advantage and create a chili citrus avocado chicken salad.

I must say it was a smashing success. The sweet limes, velvety avocado, bright and crunchy veggies, and the spicy chicken combine for a carnival of flavor and color.

The chili citrus chicken recipe is one I already had (here on the site).  Adding the veggies and the dressing transformed it into a completely different meal.

Great for hot weather.  Make extra chicken the night before for dinner and you don’t have to cook at all the next day.




 

Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Mix together whatever greens you like: spinach, leafy green lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, etc.
  • I used cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes as veggies, but feel free to substitute bell pepper, mushrooms, snap peas, cooked corn, or whatever other salad veggies strike your fancy
  • Add some orange segments to punch up the citrus flavor

More Entree Salad Recipes

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and sausage.  It’s then dressed with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make. The result is savory, filling, and easy.

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Transform your lamb breast leftovers into a second meal (or make extra).  The creamy eggplant and the spinach balance the strong flavor of the lamb, all topped with a garlicky easy aioli dressing.

 

cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Forget the classic steak sandwich for a minute and use your leftovers to make this salad instead.  Chop some veggies, add goat cheese, and make a quick red wine vinaigrette. A full meal with no cooking! Ta da!

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Another great entree salad that’s easy and flavorful (without a lot of work). Use spinach, mixed greens, chicken, or tuna. It’s flexible and easy. All you have to cook is the potato and the egg.




Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Apple almond chicken salad is an easy lunch that’s full of flavor, without a lot of bother.  You can either start with rotisserie chicken from the store, or roast your own.  The flavor comes from sweet apples, crunchy almonds, and tangy sour cream.

Switching from all mayo to half sour cream and half mayo adds more zing, and makes the salad a lot less heavy. I don’t just mean calories.  I find all mayo is just too greasy.  If you don’t have sour cream, Greek yogurt works really well too.

This recipe was inspired by an online food group I belong to. There are themes most months and this time it was apples. So I decided to switch my usual chicken salad up a bit.  Goodbye grapes and hello apples!

Use a rotisserie chicken and this recipe is done in five minutes. Or, do it yourself (think of this as two recipes in one). The roast chicken is delicious for dinner too.

If you want to roast the chicken yourself, mix up 1 tsp olive oil, a small clove of garlic (chopped), and 1 tsp rosemary in a small ramekin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then coat it with the olive oil mixture.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Then let it cool, and remove the skin. Eat the skin as a chef’s treat (this is an important step!). Shred the chicken, and prepare the rest of the salad. Roasting at a higher temperature keeps the meat juicy while the skin gets crispy and golden brown.







Apple Almond Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chopped almonds or other nuts, like walnuts or pecans
  • Try switching the rosemary in the roast coating with tarragon instead
  • If you use rotisserie chicken, add some fresh rosemary or tarragon to the salad
  • Go back to the grapes
  • Toss in some craisins (sweetened cranberries)

More Chicken Salad Recipes

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette




Smoked Salmon Artichoke Salad

This super-easy smoked salmon artichoke salad requires absolutely no cooking. And it’s ready in about 10 minutes.  It not only looks good (check out all those beautiful colors: green, orange, pink, and red), but it’s got the zing of citrus, smoky, salty salmon and zesty marinated artichokes.  The balsamic dressing and the parmesan add a savory flavor. It’s a great combination because the bitter greens from the spinach play off against the sweet oranges, the salty parmesan, and the smoked fish.

It’s a great lunch just for yourself (especially if you’re hungry and in a hurry). Or, scale it up and serve it to company. It’s elegant enough for a party if you’re having one.

Full credit for the original recipe goes to Azlin Bloor, who serves bite-size individual smoked salmon salad servings (with blood oranges) as a fancy appetizer for her catering clients.

Since we’re not catering, or necessarily fancy, this version will just cut everything up and serve it all together in a single bowl.  You can use blood oranges if you like. I went with the regular navel oranges, since they seem to be particularly good this year.

I also used smoked salmon bits (which my grocery store sells for less than the carefully sliced kind).  Look for it in your local store, and save a bit of money.  Lastly,  I substituted spinach for arugula, since I prefer it, and it’s more readily available.




Smoked Salmon Artichoke Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Get fancy and use the blood oranges, or try Cara Cara oranges
  • If you like arugula use that or lambs lettuce or even kale (you want a bitter green for this so it contrasts with the sweet and salty flavors)
  • Top the salad with some mint or other “sweet” herbs
  • Try it with other smoked fish, like smoked trout

More Smoked Salmon and Artichoke Recipes

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A little bit of cream for richness, and smoky, salty salmon for lots of flavor.  It’s elegant, easy to prepare, and good enough for company.

 

tomato artichoke pasta saucePasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce Recipe

A rich tomato sauce, thickened with spicy crushed red pepper and savory oregano. Satisfying and filling, without any meat.

 

egg and pasta gratinEgg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

I know, I’m internet recipe changing my own recipe. However, some smoked salmon will make this even better and add a touch of salty smoky goodness.   Or simply add some of the smoked salmon to scrambled eggs (cook the eggs, then toss in the salmon for a few seconds, to heat it up)




Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Hot. Cold. Then hot again. Anyone else getting whiplash from this weather? The calendar says fall, but the thermometer reads summer.  To beat the heat, try a leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach salad.  You can use leftover lamb from my Greek lamb breast recipe, or just broil a lamb chop.

This salad is a festival of tastes, textures, and colors.  You get luscious lamb topped with tender golden-brown eggplant over earthy spinach, refreshing crisp cucumbers, and sweet tomatoes.  Then the whole thing is finished with a rich garlicky lemon mayonnaise.

I’ve sauteed the eggplant in a skillet (because I didn’t want to heat up the oven), but you can grill it if you prefer, or bake it in the oven (400 degrees for about 20 minutes).  Then just add spinach and your favorite salad ingredients.

I have adapted this from a Silver Palate cookbook recipe which called for pignoli nuts and olives.  I had neither, so I filled in with cucumber and tomato. You could also put in mushrooms, sprouts, experiment with different kinds of olives, or top it with toasted nuts.  See the “substitutions” section below for more ideas.

You can either make the mayonnaise from scratch (homemade mayonnaise is divine, just remember to use it up quickly), or just dress up some store-bought mayonnaise with a bit of garlic and lemon juice.  I like to “freshen” up commercially made mayo with lemon and olive oil whenever I use it.  It tastes more like homemade that way.

Have this for a quick dinner, or make it for lunch.  I think of it as an entree salad; it works for any time you want something filling without a lot of fussing (or waiting).




Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant Spinach Salad Substitutions and Variations

 

  • Top with pignoli nuts, chopped almonds, or chopped walnuts
  • Add 1/4 C feta cheese and some mint
  • Add some sliced apples
  • Make some orzo and add that to the salad
  • Try different veggies like zucchini, bell pepper or squash

More Lamb Recipes for One Person

greek lamb breastGreek Lamb Breast Recipe

Marinate this overnight, then roast it slowly in a low oven to bring out the full flavor.

 

moroccan lamb stewMoroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

A Jewish-Moroccan recipe fit for a feast. The raisins add sweetness and complement the lamb beautifully.

 

lamb breast provencale with rosemaryOne Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

Cooked slowly and topped with a mixture of garlic, olive oil, rosemary and bread crumbs.

 

turkish lamb burgerTurkish Lamb Burgers

Meaty, rich lamb burgers stuffed with garlic and salty feta. Served with a cucumber yogurt sauce.  Make the burgers ahead and let the ingredients blend for full flavor.

 



Lemony Cucumber Salad Recipe with Dill

A lemony cucumber salad is the perfect antidote to a brutally hot day. And, with July nearly here, the temperature (at least in NY) is forecast to soar well into the 90s! This salad is cool, refreshing, and you don’t have to cook anything.  It’s also ready in about five minutes. So, it’s great when you have a bad case of the hungries and don’t want to wait a long time to eat (look further down the page for tips on making this a full meal).

I made my cucumber salad with romaine lettuce, English cucumber (the long seedless kind), fresh lemon juice, and dill.  If you use the English cucumber, you don’t have to peel it; which is a welcome extra shortcut.  I used dried dill, but fresh is even better, if you have some.

Made this way, it’s a wonderful, easy side salad, which would go nicely with some salmon in yogurt dill sauce.

On the other hand, if you would rather have a meal that’s a bit heartier,  toss in some sort of extra protein. You could add a sliced hardboiled egg,  a bit of crumbled feta or goat cheese, or even shredded leftover chicken.  With the protein, the recipe as written is enough for lunch.  If you want to have it for dinner, double the quantities of everything.




Taste the dressing before you add the olive oil and then adjust the seasonings if needed.  Adding the oil last helps the dressing emulsify (blend together better).

Lemony Cucumber Salad Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Add some sliced bell pepper
  • Garnish with freshly snipped scallions
  • Add protein (hard boiled egg, chicken, feta)
  • Vary the greens you use (try green leaf lettuce, arugula, or a salad mixture)
  • Add some chopped tomato

More Cucumber and Salad Recipes

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts 

Sweet summer blueberries, salty feta, and earthy spinach, with an added walnut crunch. Toss this together in a few minutes (no cooking needed).

 

israeli chopped saladChopped Israeli Salad for One Person

A refreshing side dish that’s great alongside a sandwich or even for breakfast (yes, breakfast, with some olives and pita and lebne). Delicious.

 

spicy sesame noodlesSpicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person

Why bother with takeout when you can make it at home. It’s cheaper, and you know what’s in it.  The cool cucumber offsets the spicy peanut sauce.

 

peanut butter and cucumber sandwich on ryePeanut Butter and Cucumber on Rye Bread

Speaking of peanut butter and cucumber… I know what you’re thinking. This is “weird.” Maybe. But it’s also delicious. Don’t think peanut butter and cucumber, think sweet and crunchy as a foil for salty and creamy.




Cold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Ever get stumped by what to do with leftover steak?  Steaks aren’t sold for one person, generally. The portions are too big!  It’s not enough for another steak dinner, and too much to toss without guilt.  You could make a steak sandwich, or try something a bit different and toss it into a steak salad.

Add some veggies, goat cheese, and a homemade red wine vinaigrette and you’ve got a delicious dinner without any cooking.  Cold leftover steak salad is the perfect solution for late summer  or busy days when the thought of turning on the stove is too much to bear.

This recipe is inspired by a steak salad on Food Network.  I liked the basic idea, but wasn’t about to buy three kinds of greens, extra red onions, or bleu cheese (since bleu cheese and I don’t get along).  I used just one kind of lettuce (green leaf) instead and swapped the bleu cheese for herbed goat cheese.

This is best with leftover steak (since it’s already cold), but you can pan fry your steak and let it rest (or chill in the fridge) while you do something else. Use the rest for a steak sandwich or in a stir fry.




 

Cold Leftover Steak Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Add a bit of Dijon mustard to the vinaigrette
  • Go for the bleu cheese if you like it
  • Use a handful of mixed greens (or make the entire salad with them)
  • Add half a sliced scallion
  • Saute some shallots and add them to the dressing

More Entree Salad Recipes

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwichchicken caprese salad panini

Grilled to a deep golden brown crispness, stuffed with gooey melted cheese, sweet tomatoes, and basil.  Comfort food for grownups.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Rich lamb, meltingly soft eggplant, and a garlicky aioli sauce. It’s an entire meal in a single bowl. Use leftover roast lamb breast, or make it with a lamb chop.

 

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

A fresh take on an entree salad, with hard boiled egg, potatoes, and a zippy vinaigrette. Use leftover or rotisserie chicken. Mix it all together and poof you have lunch (or dinner).




French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Anyone else here a starch fiend (waits and looks for raised hands)? I just love potato salad, but I’m not that crazy about the usual heavy versions loaded with mayo. This Dijon mustard vinaigrette potato salad is different. It’s French, for one thing, which means there’s no mayo in it. Instead, it has olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard for a bit of bite.

It’s really easy to make, without a lot of fussing. You can eat it warm out of the pan, at room temperature, or chilled. Since there’s no mayonnaise, it also travels well if you’re going on a picnic or to a barbecue (make more!).

The best part? No peeling (oh, the scandal)!  That makes the prep time faster. And, you get more vitamins too.




Potato Salad Cookbooks

Williams Sonoma Collection: Potato

Oh, the humble potato. It’s not so humble after William Sonoma finishes with it. And their potato salads have artichokes, feta cheese, or red bell pepper. (There’s also recipes for fries, and roasted fingerling potatoes). One reviewer said she got it from the library – but her family wouldn’t let her return the book! So, rather than risk a giant fine, she bought a copy.

Potato Salad: 65 Recipes from Classic to Cool

Every kind of potato salad, from creamy to tangy. There’s even a recipe for potato salad made with beer, and an upscale version with caviar.

 


Potato Salad: Fifty Great Recipes

Potato salad with seafood, pesto, nicoise, and tarragon and lamb. Lots of delicious combinations you may have never thought of.

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add a hard boiled egg
  • mix up your potatoes (try it with some red potatoes)
  • crumble cooked bacon over the salad
  • add tarragon to the dressing
  • use scallions instead of the bell pepper
  • add a splash of white wine to the dressing
  • replace the lemon juice with champagne vinegar

More Potato Salad Recipes

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

Sweet, lemony dill and salty/sour capers make a perfect foil for the potatoes. And no mayo in sight.

 

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

This potato salad is a full meal. Made with sausage, potatoes, and hard boiled egg, it’s savory, filling, and easy too.

 

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

An entree salad that’s great for a summer lunch or dinner (just cook the egg and potato). Use leftover chicken (or get a pre-cooked one). It’s flexible too. Use whatever protein and veggies you like.




 

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I spotted this white bean salad with sun dried tomatoes when I was shopping.  It sounded delicious: beans, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, spinach.  Healthy and tasty!

The price was a bit of a turn off though: $8.00 a pound?! For beans?  Nope.  I had dry beans at home, but it was too hot to start cooking them. So, I trotted over to the canned beans section. Instead of $8.00 a pound, I got a whole can of beans for 88 cents (on sale!).  Score!

The rest was easy (and no cooking needed on a hot day).

Just soak the sun dried tomatoes, pour the beans into a bowl, roughly chop the spinach, chop some onion, and let it sit for a while to let the flavor develop.




Substitutions and Variations for White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • Add some olives and mozzarella cheese
  • Substitute fresh basil for the dried oregano
  • Make it a dip: roast some garlic, add that to the salad, and put it in your mini-chopper or blender. Or, do this with the remaining beans.
  • Use different colored beans or several different kinds. Put the rest of the can(s) in soup or chili.

More Bean Recipes

black beans and rice recipe one personBlack Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

A meal that’s budget and pantry-friendly, that somehow feels indulgent.  Simmer the beans with garlic, onions, and two surprise ingredients for a rich, delicious meal. Cook it less for soup, longer for a side dish/entree.

moroccan bean and chicken soupMoroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Adapted from a popular Ramadan recipe, this soup was a surprise.  It was supposed to be lamb and lentils, but I didn’t have any. So, I improvised. Delicious either way.

 

tuna cannellini bean saladTuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Open a couple of cans, add a few standard ingredients, and you’ve got a meal. No cooking needed.

 

Brazilian chicken paprika stewBrazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

Essentially Brazilian chicken paprikash, but with a South American twist. The cream is gone, and replaced with beans and sausage. It’s rich and satisfying, even without the cream. One pot meal!

 




Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

Chopped Israeli salad isn’t quite what you might assume. It doesn’t have lettuce or carrots.  It’s not even eaten when you’d expect.  Israeli salad isn’t for lunch or dinner. Instead people eat it for breakfast with eggs, hummus, pita bread, fish, and olives. Not being much of a standard American breakfast person, I approve!

Of course, all of those things make a great lunch too, especially on a hot day when  you don’t want to get anywhere near a stove or an oven. I adapted this recipe from a comment on Tori Avery’s web site. 

She had a recipe for Israeli salad, and a commenter, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, pointed out that there’s a Persian version called “salad e-shirazi.”

She said it calls for red onion and parsley (neither of which I had).  However, I did decide to follow her suggestion and use lime juice instead of lemon juice and add mint.

Make sure to use either Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers (rather than the standard kind).  The Persian (or mini) cucumbers are shorter and thinner than standard cucumbers and usually sold in sealed packages.  The English (or hothouse) cucumbers are the long, skinny ones individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

They’re easier to cut up and you don’t have to peel them! Also, the standard cukes tend to be more bitter.

I cut everything up, mixed it together, and left it out on the counter for a couple of hours (there’s nothing to spoil quickly) so that the flavors would blend.  Also, if you put tomatoes in the fridge, they start to lose their flavor.

You can serve this salad with the pita and etc. I mentioned above for a light meal or as a side dish with a sandwich or some eggs. You can make plain scrambled eggs, a frittata, or keep the Persian theme going and serve it with Persian eggs. I added about 1/4 C of eggplant I had left over (recipe here and it’s even for one person).

There’s no picture of the eggs because I was hungry and started eating before I remembered to take one!




Substitutions and Variations for Chopped Israeli Salad

  • Try the full standard Persian version, “salad-e-shirazi,” which is made with seeded cukes and tomatoes, red onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, lemon juice (or lime juice) and a bit of olive oil.
  • Make it more filing with some crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add some red bell pepper (or try orange or yellow for more color), cut into tiny pieces
  • Chop some radishes and add them to the salad
  • The Book of Jewish Food has a variation popular with Baghdadi Jews in India: add grated ginger and some chopped chili peppers.

Ingredients and Tools for Chopped Israeli Salad

Oxo Lemon/Lime Reamer

You can squeeze the lime with your hands, but it’s a bit messy.  It’s much easier (and neater) to use a reamer instead. And since it’s made by Oxo, it’s comfortable to use.  Tip: Leave the fruit out to get to room temperature (or zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds). It will juice more easily.

Oxo Salad Chopper (mezzaluna) and bowl

You can use a sharp knife to cut up your salad, but it’s even easier with a salad chopper.  The double blades chop the salad, veggies, cheese, etc into tiny little pieces. And it takes a lot less effort. Just rock your hand back and forth.

More One Person Salad Recipes

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Toss together your favorite greens and veggies, add hard boiled egg and leftover chicken, and you’ve got a new twist on the old chef salad.

 

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

The perfect summer meal when it’s too hot to cook, this recipe is packed with sweet blueberries, salty/tangy feta, and crunchy walnuts.

 

strawberry spinach salad balsamic dressing feta cheeseStrawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese

Don’t have blueberries? Or want a change? Try this spinach and strawberry salad. Sweet, tangy, and fruity. No cooking required.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

If you didn’t quite eat all your lamb breast, use the leftovers for this salad. Rich lamb, creamy soft eggplant, and earthy spinach work beautifully together for a festival of flavors.




Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

It’s too hot to do much cooking, but this mixed greens egg potato and chicken salad doesn’t require too much time standing over the stove. You only have to boil the egg and the potato.  You can use leftover chicken if you have it, or grab a rotisserie chicken from the market.

I call it (in my head) Fairway Market salad, because that’s where I got the idea.  It’s pretty flexible, but the constants (at least for me), are the chicken, spinach (and/or mixed greens), boiled potato, and hard boiled egg.

Since it was too hot to roast a chicken, I got a rotisserie chicken and used that for my salad.

You can change it to suit your own tastes or whatever you have in the fridge. Substitute tuna instead of chicken, or use all spinach or all romaine instead of the mixed greens.  Try cooked corn kernels instead of the potato. The idea is to get a mixture of flavors and colors, rather than stick rigidly to a recipe.

If you want it vegetarian, or don’t have a cooked chicken, you can leave it out.  On a cooler day, make an extra chicken thigh and season it with lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I adapted the salad dressing recipe from Ina Gartner.




Substitutions and Variations for Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad

  • Make the dressing with lemon juice instead of vinegar
  • Add some whole or sliced almonds
  • Top with grated parmesan or manchego cheese
  • Cook a couple of slices of bacon and crumble them over the top
  • Slice some mushrooms and add them to the salad
  • Add feta cheese or Monterey Jack cheese

More Main Dish Salad Recipes

cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Don’t want to cook? You don’t have to. Leftover steak, a simple vinaigrette, and some greens equals a wonderful crispy, tangy salad that’s a full meal.

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Lamb and eggplant pair beautifully together and are a great foil for earthy spinach.  This salad is topped with a garlicky aioli. Don’t worry, the aioli is easy (because you can cheat).

 

chicken caprese salad paniniChicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Turn the classic caprese into a meal by adding chicken and grilling it like grilled cheese. Gooey, fresh, and delicious.

 

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

If you prefer your entree salads to be vegetarian, try this one. Lots of crispy fresh veggies, balanced by tangy cheese,  and crunchy walnuts.