Amy Lippert, NTP
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad (Paleo, Whole30)
Tender chunks of chicken over a garden of goodies topped with a Jalapeño Green Goddess dressing is the salad you will crave this summer. When I think of a summer salad, this is it and I honestly could eat this every single day!
Pasture Raised, Free-Range, Cage-free or Organic Eggs?
Pasture-raised: Pasture-raised eggs come from hens that have unlimited access to outdoor areas to roam and forage. Since chickens are omnivores, they prefer a diet of plants, insects, and other natural food sources (like berries). Pasture raised chickens have the freedom to roam as they please, interact with each other, and have been found to live happier, healthier lives when compared to chickens not raised in a pasture .
Free-Range: Free-range eggs come from uncaged hens that have access to outdoor areas; however, the duration of time outdoors, the quality, and the size of the area are not standardized.
Cage-free: Cage-free eggs come from hens that live in open indoor spaces; they are not confined to cages; however, they do not have access to the outdoors.
Organic: Organic eggs come from hens that are raised according to organic farming standards. To be an organically certified farm, specific rules must be met on feed (free from any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), housing (which can be caged, cage-free, free-range, or pasture-raised), and medical treatment .
Why Chicken is So Good For You!
We all know that chicken is a tasty and fantastic source of protein, but do you know why it is so good for you? Chicken, along with many other sources of animal protein, such as beef, eggs and fish, are a complete source of protein. This means that all nine essential amino acids are present and available to you when you eat these foods.
When it comes to nutrients, anything labeled as "essential" means that your body cannot make or synthesize this nutrient, so it must be provided to your body by the foods you eat.
As mentioned above, there are nine essential amino acids that we must eat everyday to provide our bodies energy as well as the building blocks necessary in everyday functions such as growth and repair, immune support, and in the synthesis of our hormones and neurotransmitters.
The nine essential amino acids and their roles are :
Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body's ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body's ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
So grab some chicken and let's get cooking!
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad Ingredients
4 Pasture Raised Eggs, boiled
1 lb Chicken Breast, grilled
1 Tbsp EVOO
8oz No Sugar Added Bacon, diced and fried
12-16 cups Lettuce (romaine, spring mix, butter, kale)
1 large Hass Avocado, diced
1 cup Tomatoes, diced
½ Red Onion, finely diced
½ cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (opt)
1 tsp Fine Real Salt
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola*, crumbled (opt)
*Omit the cheese for Paleo/Whole30
How to Make Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
1. Preheat the grill to 425 degrees.
2. Add the eggs to a saucepan and fill with water to cover the eggs. Heat over high heat until boiling:
3-4 mins for runny/soft boiled
5-6 mins for soft boiled/medium
7-8 mins for medium/hard boiled
9-10 mins for hard boiled.
Transfer the eggs to a ice bath for 5-mins and cool completely
3. In a large skillet, fry the bacon until cooked to preferred doneness, drain and set aside.
4. Prep the chicken by coating with the EVOO and seasoning with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill each side for 4-6 minutes until thoroughly cooked through, remove, and rest 10-minutes then dice into 1” chunks.
5. To a large platter add the lettuce and top with the avocado, tomato, red onion, bacon, diced chicken, halved eggs, and pumpkin seeds.
6. Serve with Jalapeño Green Goddess dressing.
Watch the Video HERE
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Q: Can I prep a chicken Cobb salad ahead of time?
A: Yes, prep all the veggies, boil the eggs and precook the bacon and chicken for a quick dinner that only takes assembly.
Q: What is the best way to get Romaine lettuce to crisp back up?
A: When my Romaine is a little lackluster, I chop it up and put it in the salad spinner, filled with water and a few handfuls of ice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and it will be nice and crisp for your salad!
Q: Can you premix a Cobb salad ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can premix all the goodies, just wait to dress it until you're ready to eat!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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