Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

I know I have said this before, but one of the best things about Whole 30 (besides feeling great) is that it turns you into a better cook. When you can’t reach for the grains or dairy you have to get creative. And when that creativity results in something as wonderful as this Chopped Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch, it’s a beautiful thing indeed. This salad is so good you would never know it was made without buttermilk!
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Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ #Whole 30 #Paleo #keto #chickensalad #ranchdressing

The Chop!

This salad is a meal unto itself. Finely chopped romaine, diced rotisserie or my pulled chicken, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, apple and walnuts all tossed in a homemade dairy free ranch dressing. It’s so delicious it rivals any restaurant chopped salad (actually it out does most restaurant salads but I didn’t want to sound braggadocious)

hopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

That Creamy Dreamy Ranch Though…

This ranch dressing is just as creamy as my Buttermilk Ranch but it’s made with a version of my cashew milk recipe. (If you aren’t on Whole 30 you could use buttermilk in this recipe) You could also make it with coconut milk, but I will just say… I’ve tried it multiple ways and the cashews works and taste the best. And it really is just so easy! That said if you want to buy Whole30 Paleo approved ranch instead, here it is!

Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

How I Make It:

I start by making a mayonnaise base. It’s really easy but it is important to follow all the directions I give you in the recipe. Skipping any of them can cause your mayo to not set up. It’s happened to me and it’s a bummer.  I know some people have success using a regular blender to make mayo, I do not. I use an immersion blender. So here is how it’s done:

  1. Place room temp egg, lemon juice and extra light olive oil or avocado oil into a jar with a wide enough opening for an immersion blender to fit in.
  2. Keep the blender at the bottom of the jar and whirl. Immediately you will see the oil and egg thicken up…it’s mayo magic!
  3. Then add the cashew milk, herbs and spices and voila! Homemade dairy free ranch that is both Whole 30 and Paleo compliant!

Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

The Stunning Result!

A beautiful, delicious salad you can sink your teeth into. A chopped salad worth the chopping, that’s for sure! And that ranch dressing stays good for five days, trust me you’ll find other uses for it.

 Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

The Recipe: Chopped Chicken Salad with Ranch ~ Whole 30/Paleo

What you will need: an immersion blender. If making your own nut milk you’ll need my cashew milk or almond milk recipes. If you prefer to buy Paleo/Whole 30 Ranch <—click!

Chopped Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch~ Whole30/Paleo
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A Paleo Whole 30 chopped chicken salad that will rock your world! Allow time to soak cashews for 3-4 hours

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lunch recipe, Paleo recipes, Whole30 recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
To Make Cashew Cream:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked and blended with 1/2 cup water
Ranch Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup  light olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 large eggs the second is back up ( both eggs need to be room temp, very important!)
  • Juice of half a lemon room temp
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream or coconut milk (If you aren't on W30 you could use buttermilk)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
The Salad:
  • 1 smallish head romaine lettuce chopped finely
  • 1 medium tomato. diced small
  • 1/2 a cucumber diced small
  • 1 apple diced small
  • 1 avocado diced small
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken
Instructions
Make the dressing:
  1. Bring one cup water to boil. Turn off heat and add cashews. Allow to soak for 3-4 hours. Strain and rinse. Place soaked cashews in blender and add 1/2 water. Blend until smooth. That's your cashew cream. Set aside.
  2. Place a room temp egg (have a second egg as back up) and olive in a narrow jar that is wide enough to accommodate an immersion blender.The egg must be room temp. If you forget to take the egg out of the fridge in time, you can place it in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes to bring it to room temp.
  3. Add the juice of half a room temp lemon.
  4. Place an immersion blender into jar with the blender touching the bottom. Turn on immersion blender keeping it at the bottom of the dish. In about 30 seconds or less you will have mayonnaise! Stop blending. If mayo doesn't set up, use that second egg. Add it to the jar and mix again, it almost always saves the day. Add chopped herbs, spices and cashew milk (or coconut cream if using, being sure to whisk it before adding) and give one more quick blend to incorporate herbs and spices! Ta-da!
The Salad:
  1. Chop and dice all ingredients and place in a bowl. Toss with desired amount of dressing right before serving. Extra dressing can be saved in the fridge for five days.

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

February has arrived which means only six weeks left until spring. I say make the most of winter before it’s gone! Grab a cozy blanket and a bowl of this Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili, turn on a good movie and chill.
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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

Another Fantastic Recipe from Sun Basket!

By now you all know I am an ambassador for and a big fan of Sun Basket meal delivery. The Sun Basket chef designs the most amazing meals and the ingredients are shipped to your door weekly. All farm fresh, organic, non-GMO, sustainably sourced and delicious! Paleo, vegetarian and gluten free options are available.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

Why I Love Sun Basket:

    1. Sun Basket saves time~ no going to the store or deciding what to make. Just go online, pick your meals, and everything you need is dropped off at your door!
    2. It saves money~ Less trips to the store means spending less money. Fact!
    3. Sun Basket teaches you how to cook healthy meals~Each box comes complete with recipe cards, instructions and photos of the finished recipe.
    4. Sun Basket broadens your food horizons~ We all get stuck in a food rut using the same recipes, ingredients, herbs and spices over and over. Sun Basket meals are designed by a talented chef and they offer a different menu every week. No more food boredom! But if you love a meal you can always make it again because you have the recipe card.
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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

About This Chili: A Perfect Bowl to Warm Up Your Winter

Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, onions, garlic, herbs and spices combine to make a comforting bowl of nutrient dense chili. Topped with avocado this chili really hits the spot. And it’s gorgeous. I always appreciate the beauty of real, healthy food!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

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If You Are Feeding a Crowd:

The recipe below is for two. But if you are feeding a crowd, this recipe is easily adaptable to serve more and you can keep it warm in a crock pot for people to come back for seconds…or thirds. Trust me, they are going to want seconds and thirds.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!

This recipe is dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili!
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Did you know? Not all herb stems are created equal. When we cook with fresh parsley, thyme, or rosemary, we start by stripping the leaves from the stems. But cilantro stems are as delicious as the leaves, so we chop the stems and leaves together for this delicious, hearty, vegetarian soup.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dinner recipe, vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Sun Basket Foods!
Ingredients
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ pound peeled sweet potatoes diced
  • 1 tsp peeled fresh garlic, minced or grated
  • cups cooked black beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
Instructions
Start the chili:
  1. Peel and coarsely chop the white onion, peel and dice sweet potatoes (about 1/2")
  2. In a large sauce pot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the potatoes are just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
While the onion and potatoes cook, prep the garlic and black beans:
  1. Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  2. In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the black beans.
  3. To the pot with the onion, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and as much cayenne pepper as you like and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and ½ cup water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes.
Prep the garnishes:
  1. Cut the avocado in half. Remove the pit, scoop out the flesh, and cut the flesh into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  2. Coarsely chop the cilantro.
Serve:
  1. Ladle the chili into individual bowls. Garnish with the avocado and cilantro and serve.

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12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes!

Lunch is always my biggest challenge when on Whole 30, or for that matter, anytime. For some reason creating a healthy, delicious breakfast or dinner is a cinch, but at lunchtime I struggle. So what better way to help myself, and you, than to gather a collection of lunch recipes that are amazingly delicious, healthy and happen to be Whole 30/Paleo compliant!
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12 Healthy (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #lunch

Keep the eyes and the belly happy with these Paleo Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Calm Eats!

 

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #lunch

 

Collard Wraps and Satay Dipping Sauce from The Healthy Foodie, because sometimes you just want a sandwich!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

The Best Homemade Chicken Salad from me, The Organic Kitchen. Serve on a bed of lettuce and enjoy!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes!

Chili is classic comfort food, but frequently off limits for those on Whole 30 because of the beans. This Beanless Turkey Chili with Cashew Cream from Cook with Me Darling makes a great W30 lunch and is made in about 30 minutes!

 

…these Spiralized Sandwich Buns from Inspiralized and you’ve got an incredible burger! (PS the bun is W30 compliant, the filling pictured is not)

IMG_6636-copy

 

There is nothing like a Chopped Salad with Ranch Dressing!  And this homemade dairy free dressing is to die for…

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes!

Look at the color of this Rainbow Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Walnut Dressing from A Calculated Whisk!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

Ground Turkey Brussels Sprouts Skillet from My Heart Beets: good old fashioned comfort food.

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

Make the Whole 30 version of this Shrimp or Chicken and Artichoke Heart Soup and eat it all week or freeze in mason jars for later.

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

When pomegranates are out of season I make this Mango Pomegranate Chicken Salad with raspberries!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

These Chicken Pesto Stuffed Potatoes from The Whole Cook rock my world!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #lunch

 

Ten minutes is all it takes to make this Amazing Variation of Egg Drop Soup!

12 Healthy, Delicious (Whole 30) Lunch Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #lunch

More Whole 30 Recipes!

See: 12 Healthy Delicious (Whole 30) Breakfast Recipes here and 12 Dinner Recipes here. Enjoy~ Linda Spiker

Get $30 off your Sun Basket order! Organic ingredients from the best West Coast farms and easy, healthy recipes delivered weekly.$30 off Sun Basket

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Comfort Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

“Comfort food” usually evokes thoughts of things rich, creamy, warm and satisfying meals that can leave us feeling a little nostalgic, because most of our ideas of comfort food are associated with cozy memories from our childhood. These gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are all of those things and maybe more…
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Comfort Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches #grilledcheese #glutenfree

Two Delectable Sandwiches:

When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches there are infinite combinations of breads and cheeses, fruit, vegetables, dried berries, nuts, and condiments to choose from. You are limited only by your imagination. Whether you choose to make my ‘Grilled Pepper Jack Cheese with Pesto’ or ‘Grilled Brie with Pears and Cranberries’ you will be one happy camper.

Comfort Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches #grilledcheese #glutenfree

 

The Recipes: Grilled Pepper Jack Cheese with Basil Pesto or Grilled Brie and Pear Sandwich with Cranberries

You will need:  a Panini pan and a food processor for making pesto. If a large food processor isn’t in the budget, try these mini ones for around $30. I love mine. Serve with my carrot/tomato soup! Learn to make pesto in three minutes here. Want delicious gluten free sourdough bread? I buy mine here…they deliver and it’s crazy good!

Pepper Jack and Pesto or Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Two incredibly delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy lunch recipe, kid-friendly recipes, light recipe
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Grilled Brie and Pear Sandwich with Cranberries
  • 2 slices hearty bread of your choice I use whole grain muesli or multigrain sourdough
  • Brie cheese
  • 2-3 thin slices of ripe pear
  • Dried cranberries
  • Herbs de Provence
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • Chopped roasted walnuts (optional, if the bread I am using has nuts in it, I leave out the extra walnuts)
Pesto and Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese
  • 2 slices sourdough bread (see link above for gf option)
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (store bought or homemade) see link above for homemade recipe
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
For Brie and Pear Sandwich
  1. Spread Brie on a slice of bread and sprinkle with a pinch or two of Herbs de Provence, desired amount of cranberries and chopped walnuts, top with 2 slices of ripe pear. Top with second piece of bread. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in pan on medium heat and place sandwich on pan and press with either a Panini press or spatula. When the bread is nice and golden, butter the top piece of bread and flip. Remove when bread is golden brown and cheese is melted and serve with my creamy carrot/tomato soup!

For Pesto Pepper Jack Sandwich
  1. Generously spread pesto on each slice of bread, add cheese between slices. Heat a panini pan on high heat. When pan is hot melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan and add sandwich, Cook until bread is golden, spread butter on top piece of bread and turn sandwich over, pressing with panini press or spatula and cooking until second side is golden and cheese is melted.

Helpful Hint:
  1. If you are making quite a few sandwiches you can keep them warm by placing in a covered baking dish in an oven heated to 200 degrees.

 

 

 

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Post tags: vegetarian, lunch, luncheon, easy, simple,