Hye Thyme Cafe: Chicken Taco Salad

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

I'm right around the corner from 50, so I figure it's really time for me to start making some better food choices. Replacing the beef with chicken in this taco salad was one of them. With all the flavor in the taco seasoning, you won't even notice the difference. Eating fewer carbs is another choice, like replacing a huge taco shell bowl with some baked corn tortilla strips, so you still get the satisfaction of that that flavor and crunch, but not so many carbs.

I'm not listing salad amounts here, since it will vary depending on how much salad to taco filling you like, how many people you're serving, etc. 

Romaine or Iceberg lettuce sliced into ribbons
Sliced black olives
1 small red onion
Diced tomatoes (I like a mix of small tomatoes)
Canned or jarred jalapeno rings
3 small or 2 large avocados
1 clove garlic
1 small lime
1 lb ground chicken
1 packet taco seasoning
Shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.)
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Corn tortillas
  1. Toss the lettuce with sliced black olives, sliced red onion (I don't like a lot of raw onion, so I used a little in the guacamole, sliced some for the salad, and diced the rest to saute with the chicken), diced tomatoes, and jalapeno rings, and set aside.
  2. For the guacamole, mash together the avocado, garlic, juice from half the lime, and some minced red onion. I like to mash most of the avocado, but leave a little bit chunky. If you haven't worked with avocado before, run a knife around the center lengthwise and twist to open. Then you can either use a spoon to pop out the pit, or tap it with the blade of a knife and twist to release it. Then, starting from the tip, run a spoon along the inside of the skin to release it. Squeeze a bit more lime over the top and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap before covering your bowl, to keep as much air out as possible to avoid discoloring. Chill until ready to use.
  3. For the chicken, saute with the reserved red onion until done, then follow the instructions on the taco seasoning. Be sure to note how much meat the seasoning is for - ground chicken usually comes packed by the pound, but a lot of taco seasonings are for 1.5 pounds, so you might want to hold back a little.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, slice some corn tortillas into thin strips, toss them onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden and crispy.
  5. To plate, top your salad with some of the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Top that with a scoop of guacamole and a bit of sour cream or yogurt, then sprinkle with tortilla strips.
Because I'm usually not using up the whole can/jar of jalapenos, or the entire package of corn tortillas, I freeze the leftovers for another occasion. Of course, you could bake up the rest of the tortilla strips and sprinkle them with salt for a crunchy snack. 

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe
Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

Chicken Taco Salad: Hye Thyme Cafe

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