Chicken Taco Salad with Avocado Cilantro Crema Dressing
Another way to use the delish Taco Seasoning
First a quick video tutorial about opening the new Eat Happy Kitchen spice canisters…click the image below and it will take you to the video. I can’t get it to play within Substack (note to Substack: please fix this).
Much like opening a jar of sauce with a secure lid, these canisters take a second to finesse. Since use use minimal plastic (just the tamper seal sticker), these are made from post-recycled materials. They’re as eco friendly as it gets, and the canister opening is designed to fit tightly around the cap for freshness.
Now, on to the main event…FOOD.
I know the Quesadilla Casserole from Eat Happy gets a lot of love, and for good reason. It’s delicious, and it uses my Homemade Taco Seasoning (also in the book). If you haven’t made your own scratch taco seasoning, it’s a game changer from the store bought packets filled with thickeners, fillers, and added sugar. I’ve been making my taco seasoning recipe for 25 years, ever since I read the ingredients on the back of an Old El Paso packet, and couldn’t pronounce some of the ingredients.
Now that I’ve launched my own Organic Taco Seasoning, I want to provide ideas and inspiration to cook with it.
The last thing I want is for you to leave your spices sitting on your pantry shelf for years next to that old jar of McCormick fennel seeds you bought in 2013.
I am a practical, utilitarian gal. I want you to cook the recipes I publish and the food that you buy from my company. I don’t want things to go to waste.
I also don’t want you to get bored. And for boredom to stay away, TASTE is the numero uno priority of every recipe I write.
This new recipe for Chicken Taco Salad with Avocado Cilantro Crema Dressing has a few components, but it’s worth the prep.
I would serve for Cinco De Mayo… or a cinco of any month you choose.
Don’t fall asleep on the best part of the recipe: cheese crisps seasoned with the Taco Seasoning. I’ve now made cheese crisps with all three new spice mixes, and they taste so good! So cheese crisps are now in product development over at the Eat Happy Kitchen.
One more pro tip—make the chicken taco meat below in bulk to have on hand for salads, pork rind nachos, in place of ground beef in the Quesadilla Casserole, or serve on its own as your main protein at lunch or dinner.
One final pro tip—and my business partner hate it when I say thig—you can use any taco seasoning you prefer—you don’t have to order mine! But if you have the first Eat Happy, at least make the scratch taco seasoning and don’t give into the crappy brands filled with things we can’t pronounce.
Anna Vocino's Eat Happy Kitchen Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
CHICKEN TACO SALAD WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO CREMA DRESSING
(Yields 4 salads)
4 radishes, sliced
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
Chicken Taco Meat (see below)
Cheese Crisps (see below)
Onion Salsa (see below)
Avocado Cilantro Crema Dressing (see below)
Divide the first 4 ingredients among 4 salad bowls. Top with Chicken Taco Meat, Cheese Crisps, Onion Salsa, and Avocado Cilantro Crema Dressing.
Chicken Taco Meat:
1 pound chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 heaping teaspoon of Eat Happy Kitchen Taco Seasoning
1/2 jar of red or green salsa
Instant Pot Directions:
Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. Place in instant pot. Sprinkle EHK Taco Seasoning over chicken thighs. Pour over salsa. Cover with Venting switch set to sealed. Select Manual for 25 minutes. Let pressurize, cook, and depressurize naturally. Remove lid when safe to do so and break chicken up into bite sized pieces with a fork. Set aside.
Slow Cooker Directions:
If using slow cooker, season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper, place in slow cooker, sprinkle with Taco Seasoning. Pour over salsa. Cook on high 2-3 hours, or until chicken is done through. Shred with fork into bite sized pieces.
Brick of Colby or Colby Jack, cut thinly into 1/2” x 2” strips
1 teaspoon Eat Happy Kitchen taco seasoning
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cheese slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Let cook 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle on EHK Taco Seasoning.
2 tablespoons finely minced white onion
2 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno
1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fold in all ingredients until evenly mixed.
Avocado Cilantro Crema Dressing:
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons water, if needed
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. If too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.