Caprese Chicken Salads

Caprese Chicken Salads

Are you in the mood for a refreshing caprese salad? Then you will absolutely adore this fresh salad filled with grilled balsamic chicken, fresh mozzarella, freshly torn basil, and the nutty flavor of toasted pine nuts. This is Keto friendly and gluten free.

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I love a fresh caprese salad, especially during the months when our garden is in full bloom. I pretty much look for any reason to use fresh basil when it is alive and well. I will be honest, I do not have a green thumb. So, when I am able to tend to simple herbs such as basil I feel quite successful.

While doing a Keto diet I loved that I could enjoy fresh mozzarella. I have to enjoy it in moderation though, because I don’t always handle dairy well as it causes bloating and some inflammation. Sometimes, I will make this with a dairy free cheese option. The dairy free brand I will use is Miyoko’s Creamery, which you can find in Whole Foods. This has the texture more like ricotta, but the same vibe as a classic mozzarella.

I hope you enjoy this easy yet satisfying salad as much as we do. This is a staple at our house, especially during the warm Spring and Summer months when fresh herbs and tomatoes are alive and well. Enjoy!

Caprese Chicken Salad

Mindful Living With Amanda
Keto
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salad

  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 beef steak tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly torn basil leaves
  • 1 avocado, quartered

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 freshley squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions
 

Chicken

  • Fillet the chicken breasts so you have 4 even pieces. Then, stab the chicken with a fork so they can soak up the marinade
  • In a large bowl, add the chicken, vinegar, oil and seasoning and mix until evenly coated. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  • Grill the chicken until each piece is cooked through (about 15 minutes while flipping halfway)

Salad

  • While the chicken in grilling, toast the pine nuts in a nonstick pan over medium to high heat. Toss frequently to avoid burning.
  • Add the mixed greens, chopped cucumbers, torn basil, avocado, freshly torn mozzarella, and tomato into salad bowls.
  • Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk vigorously until well combined.
  • Slice and add the chicken to the salads, and top with the dressing. Enjoy!
Keyword caprese salad, chicken salad, keto salad
Burger Salad Bowl

Burger Salad Bowl

What is better than burger night? This Burger Salad Bowl will have you asking for burgers on the regular. This recipe is gluten free.

One of our local burger restaurants has a fantastic burger salad. I love to order it on the rare occasion we eat out, but now I have become more partial to making this recipe at home. I love knowing exactly where my food came from, how it was prepared, and playing with different toppings depending on what I have on hand.

We have turned burger night into a nice night in with some great twists to feel a little bit more fancy than just throwing a burger on a bun. Primal Kitchen’s Thousand Island dressing hits it out of the park. Their dressings are paleo friendly, Whole 30 approved, and dairy free. I love making these smashed potatoes to use in place of fries or a bun. Just boil them whole, allow to cool slightly, flatted on a baking dish, sprinkle with seasonings, drizzle with avocado oil and roast until crisp.

For paleo and Whole 30 diets you will omit the cheese or use a dairy free option. If you are going the Keto route I would recommend a high quality source of cheese, such as Organic Valleys raw grass fed cheddar. Also, you want to pay attention to the carb content if you are following a strict Keto diet, as the potatoes may interfere with your goals.

Burger Salad Bowl

Mindful Living With Amanda
Gluten Free, Grain Free
Prep Time 25 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Burgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw grass-fed cheddar cheese

Smashed Potatoes

  • 8 small gold potatoes
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Salad Bowl

  • 8 strips sugar/nitrate free bacon
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 4 sliced dill pickles
  • 1 whole beef steak tomatoe, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Thousand Island Dressing

Instructions
 

Smashed Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Boil the golden potatoes until fork tender and allow to cool x5 minutes on your prepared baking sheet
  • Gently press the potatoes flat with the back of a measuring cup or spatula. Drizzle the avocado oil & seasonings
  • Roast the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until crisp

Bacon

  • Place the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake while the potatoes are roasting for about 6-8 minutes until crisp to your liking

Burgers

  • While the potatoes are roasting make your burgers. Mix the salt and the ground beef together and form into 4 patties
  • Grill the burgers to your liking, and top with optional cheese if your diet allows. Omit the cheese if you are paleo and whole30.

Salad

  • Add the mixed greens, pickles, tomatoes, smashed potatoes, bacon, burger, and dressing to a dish and dig in! Optional to add in avocado and red onion.
Keyword burgers, gluten free, keto, salads
Classic Antipasto Salad

Classic Antipasto Salad

If you are craving a quick and easy antipasto salad for when you’re wanting something Italian then you will appreciate this dish. You can dig into this for lunch, dinner, or multiply the recipe for a crowd pleasing appetizer.

I am always on the hunt for an easy but satisfying lunch recipe. This salad is easy to make the night before work or to be meal prepped on a Sunday. Sometimes I’ll make this to serve as a side to burgers or grilled chicken. The day this picture was taken I served it alongside my Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Burgers.

My husband’s family is from Italy, and at most family gatherings there is sure to be some kind of antipasto salad present. Typically, the salad goes alongside a plate of Aunt Glory’s meatballs or my husband’s perfectly made chicken cutlets. You should always eat light the day of an Arduini family party.

For this salad I can’t recommend Primal Kitchen’s Italian dressing enough. Pretty much everything Primal Kitchen creates is out of this world, and this dressing is no different. For the artichokes, I love the Whole Food’s marinated variety, but any kind is great here. The roasted red peppers is also a great touch with a soft texture to counteract the crunchy organic bell pepper.

The star of the show is the salami. For this you want to pick a quality meat that is free of nitrates and fillers. My favorite brands is Applegate which is Whole 30 compliant. To avoid cracking teeth I would get pitted green olives. If you are keto then I would throw some fresh mozzarella on top to really elevate the Italian vibe happening here.

Classic Antipasto Salad
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 4 slices of salami, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of jarred roasted red peppers
  • 6 pitted green olives
  • 4 pieces of artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons of Primal Kitchen’s Italian Dressing
  • *Optional to top with freshly cut mozzarella as long as you aren’t following a strict paleo or Whole 30 diet

Directions:

  • Pile in the greens and top with the remaining ingredients. I am a fan of a pre-tossed salad, so I will gently toss and serve to ensure a coating of dressing is in every delicious bite!

Enjoy!

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad

I love chicken salads for a simple lunch, appetizer, or a light dinner. You can serve this dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo and Whole 30 compliant dish anytime of the year. The touch of sweet from the cinnamon and raisins mixed with the savory of the chicken, mayo, and mustard makes this a winner in my home.

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I love any recipe that can be meal prepped and kept good in the fridge for weekday lunches or snacks. What is even better is the convenience of grabbing a rotisserie chicken to take the element of cooking actual chicken breasts out of the mix. Whoever invented rotisserie chickens is a genius, and I am forever thankful. Can you agree?

Simply, prep and measure all of your ingredients and combine them into a large mixing bowl and you are good to go. The most labor intensive parts are shredding the chicken and chopping the celery and grapes. If that sounds easy enough then this is going to be a breeze for you!

For myself, I will serve these stuffed inside of romaine or bib lettuce or with some SimpleMills crackers. For my husband, I will put this between some sprouted Ezekiel bread and have some more celery or carrot sticks on the side. Don’t be fooled, he will later go grab some chips or additional crackers as well. Tim seems to have been blessed with a bottomless pit for a stomach. You can imagine how busy our kitchen gets.

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad

Mindful Living With Amanda
Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Paleo

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup halved grapes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp avocado mayo
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and fold in until evenly coated
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days for optimal freshness.
Chicken Taco Tray Bake

Chicken Taco Tray Bake

Tacos are my most beloved dish! I reinvent my tacos weekly just to keep things new and interesting. Who doesn’t appreciate a solid taco served traditionally in a tortilla, on top of a salad, or in a rice bowl? The options are endless, and all of the different flare you can add to them keeps a simple dish constantly on rotation in my house.

Tray bake dishes are most adored in my home, because they make meal prep and clean up a breeze. I typically do the cooking in my house, and subsequently my husband does the clean up. Don’t feel bad for him though, because I am a clean as I go kind of gal. Nothing makes me more anxious than a cluttered kitchen where I can’t find what I need when I need it. Well, okay, maybe constantly having to move around my dog Blue can be equally of a challenge. Blue thinks he is my cooking assistant, which he is so stinking cute he should be.

This dish is pretty straight forward, and you can tailor it to whatever you are feeling whether it is a salad, rice bowl or a traditional taco with tortillas. I am a huge fan of the brand Siete, so I naturally use their cassava or almond flour tortillas and I always have at least 2-3 packets of their taco seasoning on hand.

First you’ll start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees, and then you’ll line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Next, slice the poblano, green and red peppers, and red onion into thin slices. Then, slice the chicken breasts into thin slices as well. Toss the veggies and chicken onto the baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (preferably Siete brand). That’s it! You will let the tray bake for a total of 20 minutes, and half way through around the 10 minute mark just toss everything around then place it back into the oven until the time is up. Of course you will want to ensure the meat is cooked through, but if you slice the chicken thinly you should be in good shape.

While the tray is cooking I will prepare a salad with some mixed greens, a tablespoon of salsa, dairy-free Forager brand sour cream, and half of an avocado. I’ll garnish with a lime wedge and some fresh cilantro. My husband will typically have his over rice, so I make that during the cooking time as well. I prefer to use cauliflower rice, which you can simply make by putting about 2 cups into a frying pan over medium heat and let it go until it is tender. I’ll season the rice with a pinch of salt, lime juice and mix in some cilantro.

This dish is Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 approved!

Chicken Taco Tray Bake
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning blend (I use Siete)
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it lightly
  • Cut the red onion and peppers thinly and toss onto the baking sheet
  • Slice the chicken breasts thinly and add to the veggies
  • Drizzle the avocado oil and taco seasoning over the chicken and veggies and toss until evenly coated
  • Bake the tray for 20 minutes and half way at 10 minutes toss everything gently and let it cook for the remaining time or until chicken is cooked through
  • While the tray bakes you can prepare a salad or rice bowl as discussed above.
  • Garnish with some lime wedges, salsa, dairy free sour cream, and fresh cilantro

Enjoy!

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

If you are a lover of Caesar salads then you have to dig into to this recipe. This salad has the perfect blend of protein, healthy fats and fibrous greens to satisfy any pallet. People often overlook Caesar salads, but with the right flavors they can be quite dynamic. You can dig into this for lunch or for dinner. This salad is gluten free, Keto friendly, and it can be Paleo if you ditch the cheese.

I love crafting salads. For the longest time I truly believed salads were something that always tasted better if someone else made them. Then I started to get into the stride of learning different flavor and texture combinations. I often make my own dressings, but hands down Primal Kitchen makes the best store bought varieties that are clean and simple. In this recipe their Caesar dressing brings the dish to life.

Before I start preparing anything for the salad I make a package of Simple Mills’ Artisan Bread mix, which will later serve as my croutons. While the bread is cooking I start to build the salad. I used a mix here of organic baby kale, romaine and mixed greens. Then, I tossed the pine nuts into a pan over medium heat and let them toast while frequently moving them around to prevent burning. Once the pine nuts are done I add them to greens.

Next, I take the prosciutto and lay the slices on a piece of parchment paper and let them crisp in the oven while the bread is baking. I keep an eye on the prosciutto while the pieces crisp for about 10 minutes and then remove them from the oven. After the prosciutto is cooled I will then cut the pieces into little bits and then add them to the salad. Often times I will shred some raw organic cheddar cheese and toss it in as well. When the bread is done I cut the slices into cubes, toss them with olive oil and Italian seasoning and add them back into the oven until the they are crisp.

On week nights I often grab a rotisserie chicken to make dinner prep simple. Grabbing a chicken from Whole Foods is my go-to. Here I shredded the breast meat and each serving got 4-6 oz, and then my kids ate the rest for their dinners. Its a win-win for everyone at the table.

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix
  • 4 cups of baby kale or your choice of salad greens
  • 8-12 oz of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons of Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing
  • 6 oz of Prosciutto (I used Applegate Naturals)
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 lemon
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of shredded raw organic cheddar cheese (I use Organic Valley brand)

Directions:

  • Prepare the Simple Mills bread mix per the directions for a loaf and bake for the allotted time
  • Place the Prosciutto slices on a piece of parchment paper, add it to the oven during the last 10 minutes of the bread’s cooking time and bake until they are nice and crisp
  • Meanwhile, toss the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat while stirring frequently until they are nicely toasted then remove from the heat
  • When the Prosciutto is nice and crisp remove it from the oven and cut into little pieces
  • When the bread is done cut half of the loaf into slices and then into cubes. Place the cubes on a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle on the avocado oil and Italian seasoning and mix until the croutons are evenly coated. Place the croutons into the oven for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown and toasted
  • Add the kale, chicken, pine nuts, 1/2 cup of croutons, prosciutto, and cheese (if you choose to add it) into a bowl. Top the salad with the juice of half a lemon and Caesar dressing, and toss it all together until evenly coated.

Enjoy!