Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Chicken, Bacon and Basil Power Salad

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I might be old-fashioned, but the sight of a plate practically bending under the weight of loads of colourful veggies and beautiful tender chicken always gets me. 

All that goodness...

chicken bacon basil salad - aip pegan lchf lowcarb paleo dairyfree nutfree


And it's so tasty. I've got soft lettuce; crunchy, peppery radishes; tender chicken and sweet, earthy black olives. Add some crispy smoked bacon and a spoonful or two of that creamy basil dressing and dinner (or lunch, or even breakfast if you like) is sorted. 

It's perfect for a packed lunch - my husband takes a chopped up version of this in a jar to work. Or just enjoy it leisurely, at home, whenever you like. 

But what makes this salad such a power salad chock full of nutrients? 

chicken bacon basil salad - aip pegan lchf lowcarb paleo dairyfree nutfree


The creamy part of the dressing comes from half an avocado - so you're getting some healthy fats, vitamin C and vitamin E. Then extra vitamin C from the lemon juice and the veggies. Basil leaves might usually just be thought of as something to decorate the plate with, but by blending them up in this dressing you get to eat more of them without noticing. And they're actually good for you. Basil's a great source of vitamin K (that helps in healthy blood clotting), manganese and vitamin A. 

This is one healthy salad. 

Chicken, Bacon and Basil Power Salad
Serves 2
Ingredients
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thoroughly cooked and then cooled (or use a couple of handfuls of leftover cooked roasted chicken from the fridge, if you have some handy) 
4 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon
1 small round lettuce
6 radishes
8-10 black olives, pitted
one 30g bunch of basil leaves
50ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
half a medium-sized ripe avocado, skin and stone removed

Method
Chop the cooked chicken, or slice it, as in the photos - and put to one side. Grill the bacon rashers until golden and crisp (you'll have to turn them over half way through). Leave it to cool slightly. 

Meanwhile, wash and shred the lettuce with a sharp knife and then arrange it on two serving plates. Place a cooled cooked chicken breast in the centre of each plate. Quickly trim and chop the radishes and scatter on the olives. Chop or break up the crispy bacon and scatter it over the plate. 

To make the dressing, pick off a few of the smallest basil leaves from the bunch and reserve for the topping. Put the rest in a powerful blender (I use a Nutri Ninja with IQ for this) along with the extra virgin olive oil, the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add the flesh from half an avocado and blend until smooth, for about 7-10 seconds. 

Using a tablespoon, drizzle the dressing over the chicken. Season the salad with a pinch of salt if needed and then serve, scattering over the smaller basil leaves reserved earlier. 

Do you love the fresh, summery fragrance of basil? Do you want to know which herbs and spices you can use on the autoimmune protocol? I've written a 90+ recipe ebook called SPICE that deals with AIP compliant herbs and spices and suggests new ways you can perk up your cooking. Download it now, on your Kindle device or Kindle app.

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