a lovely living


I’ve been in a bit of a food rut lately. Being that my husband and children expect to have dinner every single night, I’ve been turning to the same handful of recipes over and over again. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t always love the planning and prep work that needs to happen ahead of time. With a newly finished pantry (courtesy of my husband’s handiwork) I’m able to stock up on canned goods, broths, pastas etc. with the hope that I can be in and out of the grocery store much quicker, picking up mainly fresh produce….a girl can hope! With the warmer weather here, I’m on the hunt for some fresh new meals. Although taco salads aren’t new around here, the addition of this Zesty Avocado Buttermilk Dressing to our Chicken Taco Salad totally took it to a new level. One my husband kept raving about! The chicken is taken care of in the crock pot, so all you’re left to do is whip up the delicious dressing and you’re set!



Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad
 via Skinny Taste

2 (16 oz total) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon reduced sodium taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1 cup chunky salsa

For the Salad:
6 cups chopped romaine or red leaf
1/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup zesty avocado cilantro buttermilk dressing


*Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season with taco seasoning and cumin. Pour the beans over the chicken and top with salsa.
*Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily shreds with 2 forks. Shred the chicken and combine with the beans and sauce, keep warm until ready to eat. Makes 3 1/2 cups.
*To make the salad, place 1 1/2 cups lettuce on each plate, top with 3/4 cup chicken and bean mixture, 1 tbsp cheese and 2 tablespoons zesty avocado buttermilk dressing (See below).

Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing via Skinny Taste

*I recommend making ahead of time so that it has time to chill


3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (I used closer to 1 cup)
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1 medium haas avocado
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped scallion
juice of 1 lime
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt


*Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. For a thinner dressing add more buttermilk, for a thicker dip use less.


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