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September 29, 2010


Pepita Crusted Chicken Salad with Sweet Adobo Vinaigrette.

Maybe you've noticed a trend here on ASP...dessert, healthy dish, dessert, healthy dish, dessert, healthy dish.

Well, to offer full disclosure the REAL cycle is:  dessert, SCALE, workout, healthy low-carb meal, dessert, scale, *SIGH*, workout, low-carb meal! I know what you're thinking...silly girl, just stop eating dessert.

I'm a big believer in the "all things in moderation" philosophy. Something I have to remind myself of when I'm sitting in front a a big plate of cookies!

So here is a healthy "post dessert-binge" meal that is wonderfully balanced in flavor and nutrition. You get protein from lean organic chicken breasts, good fats from the pepitas and avocados, vitamin rich greens and mangos, and light carbs from the jicama and adobo dressing.  

As for tempting the taste buds, you'll experience an amalgamation of  sweet versus spicy, creamy versus crunchy, silky versus crisp, and cool versus hot! This meal is yin-yang heaven!


There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves. ~Frank Herbert

Pepita Crusted Chicken Salad with Sweet Adobo Vinaigrette

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (could use chicken tenders)
3 Tb. flour
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 Tb. milk (or water)
1 cup roughly chopped pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or pistachios

1 head romaine, hand torn
1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup peeled and thinly sliced jicama
½ a small red onion, thinly sliced

1 Tb. strain adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
1/3 cup oil
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tb. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and move the oven rack to the upper-middle position. Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.

Prepare 3 small pans: one with chopped pepitas, one with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk whisked together, and one with a mixture of flour, cumin slat and pepper.

Dip the chicken in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess, then dip it in the egg wash, followed by the chopped pepitas. Lay the coated chicken on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest.

Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts. *For chicken tenders bake 15 minutes.

While baking, prepare four salad plates with a bed of romaine, followed by thin slivers of mango, avocado, jicama, and red onion.

Whisk together the adobo sauce, oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon, and salt.

Once the chicken is cooked, allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes. Then top each salad with a chicken breast and drizzle with abodo vinaigrette!

Serves 4.

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Pepita Crusted Chicken Salad With Sweet Adobo Vinaigrette on Foodista


  1. wow this is cool new to me love your cycle oh balance he he can;t wait to meet you next week email your tel Rebecca

  2. No, I love the healthy approach! We would like to eat that for dinner as well. My husband really like the adobe sauce peppers.

  3. I am in love with this chicken recipe. I'm happy I came across your wonderful blog. :)

  4. Oh my goodness, this sounds perfect! I'm sooooo excited to try this, maybe with a firm fish... cutting wayyy down on chicken. I love how the pepitas are still mostly in tact, what a wonderful crunchy addition!
    I like how you post the nutritional info in your posts ;-)
    great pics too, very informative.

  5. Wow this is wonderful, and so unique. Love the dish :)

  6. I have to attempt this. I think it may be above my level, but I love pepitas!

  7. Love how you're always thinking outside the box Sommer! Never seen pepitas crusting meat before - I know I would love this for that alone but the salad and that adobo dressing too? It's almost too much - too much of a wonderful thing!

    Balance is good...... but I still get dessert, right? ;)

  8. What an amazing chicken dish! I love the idea of coating a chicken breast with pepitas...I've never thought of that before. And your salad looks fresh and flavorful. I'm glad that I stumbled on your blog tonight. This is a winner!

  9. this chicken dish looks perfect!such a great idea with that crust!

  10. I loved it to say the least. It must taste heavenly and its presentation is fantastic.

  11. This dish looks absolutely tasty!!

  12. Love the pepita crusting on this chicken breast! Great piquant flavors to this dish! And... that's how you get a mango cut into uniform pieces ... good photo tutorial goin' on there!

    Thanks for stopping by my little bit of cyberspace! Come back often!

  13. Yeah, that moderation thing is a killer....love the idea of a pepita crust on chicken. It looks really good.

  14. love this, I make something similar with shrimp..yummy Oh and the salad..love jicama and mango together that combo is always a winner


  15. I've never thought to crust chicken with pumpkin seeds! What a brilliant idea! I bet this tasted so good, and added a great layer of flavor to your "healthy" dish :)

  16. Great balance of flavors in this dish. I really like the idea of crusting the chicken with pumpkin seeds. The coolness v. heat of the mango and chipotle is also a nice contrast. Like you, I would never be able to pass up a dessert. It makes me too happy! Healthy meals like this make it excusable to have more! haha

  17. Your dish looks delicious.. but you can't give up dessert! Its just not right.. its not natural! ha plus, they say that people who 'give up' foods they like are not as happy as those who try to go the moderation route :) "Healthy" incentive for keeping dessert!

  18. I love adding seeds and nuts to recipes and we eat chicken like it's going out of style so this is the PERFECT recipe! Totally making this soon! :)

  19. It's all a balance...this is such a pretty dish! Rather festive.

  20. This is a wonderfully encrusted chicken dish! Adobo Vinaigrette...that sounds great to serve with some baked butternut squash too. :-))

  21. That looks fantastic! I love the flavor of pumpkin seeds.



  22. That looks so good. I love the used of pepita.

  23. I like the trend you are on...healhty dish, dessert...though I just do unhealthy dish and dessert which might be part of the problem.

  24. Crusting the chicken with pumpkin seeds is a great idea. It looks wonderful and must taste great. This is certainly a delightfully tasty meal!

  25. What a lovely balance of flavors, I love pepitas too. Have you seen pumpkin seed oil? For soem reason mostly German.

  26. I like this healthy meal :) And all the versatility going on over here. There's always something delicious! PS, I've got a giveaway going on that I think you might be interested in :) Stop by and check it out!

  27. What a great recipe Sommer! Such a creative combination of flavors. Thanks so much for the vote of confidence regarding the guest posting; it's much appreciated! Have a great weekend!

  28. I love pumpkin seed, with chicken and a salad - oh my.....

  29. That is absolutely delicious looking! The flavors rock too!

  30. Skip dessert??? HA! Now that would be silly...
    This dish looks great. Your adobo sauce sounds wonderful...I love using chipotles in adobo.

  31. Sommer -- I like the crust a lot. So crunchy. Probably kept the meat moist. I would like to try this with fish some time.

  32. I cant remember where I saw this, but I have been thinking about it ever since. I can never come up with much to do with pepitas, but this is perfect! Love it and hope to make it and blog about it soon!

  33. Love the pepita crunch and all the great flavors you've incorporated in this dish! Yes, I'm on the same cycle!

  34. Healthy meals are the justifications for indulgent desserts.

    I'm amused you ended with a Frank Herbert quote... don't expect to see his words on a food blog. Which book is that one from?

  35. I have had pumpkin seeds on the brain lately! Great minds think alike, perhaps? ;) By the way I got my package yesterday but have been so busy I haven't had a chance to go through it all yet! Thanks again!

  36. I love the pepitas on the chicken, not only is it gorgeous, but I bet it tasted incredible! What a perfect blend of flavors for the salad too, the mango was such a nice addition.....
    healthy can be tasty....sigh...I can't believe I actually said that.....I have come so far!

  37. It's never even crossed my mind to use pepitas on chicken, but it's gorgeous. I'm glad you included that last photo so we could see how juicy and tender the chicken appears to be.

    The salad underneath is beautiful. What a splash of color and flavor. I've never been a mango fan, but I'm learning. I do adore avocados.


I love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for taking the time. If you have a question, I'll get back to you ASAP!