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Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Cumin Crusted Chicken

July 25, 2012

This is one of my favorite go-to meals that I make on a regular basis for myself and for my clients. This dish is really all about prep and assembly. You can cut out the chicken all together if you don’t feel like turning on your stove. This salad has lots of protein (chicken, beans, cheese, pepitas) and vitamins from the vegetables. It is crisp, refreshing and has a bit of heat. As I tend not to use recipes (or write things down), the measurements below are not exact, so please alter to your liking.


Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Cumin Crusted Chicken Recipe

Serves 4


Salad Components

4 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved

1 or 2 can(s) organic black beans (I used black lentils here)

1 cup jicama, small dice

1/3 cup pepitas, toasted

¼ cup Monterey (pepper) Jack cheese, small dice

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, small dice

1 bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped


2 limes, reserve juice and zest

1 teaspoon raw honey

Tabasco, a few dashes to your liking

1 clove fresh garlic, grated on a microplane

Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


2 tablespoons safflower oil (for cooking)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a large stainless steal pan, heat safflower oil over medium high heat until ripples appear.
  2. Add chicken and cook for five minutes, flip and cook for five more until breasts feel firm to the touch.
  3. Remove from pan and let sit on a clean cutting board.
  4. Time to make the dressing: in a large bowl, combine first five ingredients and whisk together with a fork.
  5. Gradually poor in olive oil and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Add all salad components to bowl and fold to incorporate with dressing.
  7. Slice chicken breasts on the bias.
  8. On a dinner plate or  “bowl” plate, spoon about one to one and a half cups of bean salad (I like to lay down a bed of romaine underneath for added vegetables and crunch). Then top each plate with a chicken breast. Drizzle with more fresh lime juice and olive oil and serve.

Alternatives: Use pinto beans or lentils (as I did here) in place of black beans. Substitute skirt steak for chicken. Add avocado. Serve with corn tortillas (I like Ezekiel’s sprouted best).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2012 7:07 pm

    that looks good on so many levels.


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