My favorite types of restaurants to eat in are small, local cafes and bistros that offer simple dishes with organic local ingredients. These types of restaurants used to be quite hard to come by, but with the ongoing foodie revolution they have become easier to find! Can you say...SCORE!!!
Even prior to starting Paleo and AIP, I almost always ordered salads when I was dining out. You get what you see, generally, and salads are my favorite way to ensure I’m getting my personal goal of 10 to 15 servings of vegetables a day. I recently traveled to Colorado for four days with my fiance and almost every one of my meals out was a salad!
Usually restaurants are more than happy to custom-build one for you if you explain your food allergies and intolerances. I default to grilled chicken if it’s on the menu and then build around that with avocado, greens, onions, and olive oil. If I’m traveling and I feel I need to round out the meal with a carbohydrate, I’ll pick up a piece of fruit like an apple or sliced cantaloupe and have that as my post-lunch dessert.
At home, I include at least one salad per day in my menu planning, so I’m become quite the salad expert! The trick is to make your protein and dressing as flavorful as possible and include a variety of textures and temperatures after that. Creamy avocado, crispy bacon, refreshing grated carrots, and warm, juicy seasoned chicken breast (yes, JUICY chicken breast) are combined here for a brunch, lunch or dinner that will surely remind you of your favorite neighborhood bistro cafe!
You could easily serve this dish to company for a weekend lunch with some sparkling lemon water for a crowd-pleasing meal!
Here's What You Need....
PREP TIME - 10 MINS COOK TIME - 23 MINS TOTAL TIME - 33 MINS
6 slices bacon
1 ½ pounds chicken breast
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large head red leaf lettuce, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Optional: freshly grated carrots and sliced avocado
Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette (below)
In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crispy on both sides over medium heat. Transfer cooked bacon to a cutting board and dice with a sharp knife. Leave the rendered bacon fat in the skillet. Set chopped bacon aside.
Pat the chicken breasts dry. Mix together the thyme, garlic powder and sea salt and rub on all sides of the chicken breasts.
Cook the chicken in the bacon fat over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until slightly pink in the center. Transfer the chicken breasts to a large cutting board and slice into ½-inch thick slices.
Return chicken to the skillet and finish cooking for 5 minutes until cooked through and juicy. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar over the chicken and toss until coated.
Arrange the salad by layering the lettuce, warm chicken, shallot, garlic, bacon, and optional carrots and avocado. Drizzle with Garlic-Thyme Dressing.
Garlic Thyme Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon pureed avocado
In a glass jar, whisk together the oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic, and sea salt. Whisk in the avocado until the dressing is creamy and emulsified. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days