Copycat Cheesecake Factory Sheila’s Chicken and Avocado Salad

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Sheila's chicken avocado salad

Ever since I moved to Calgary, I’ve been longing for this refreshing all time favorite salad. It’s a staple order whenever my coworkers and want to treat ourselves for a lunch break at Cheesecake factory. Well unluckily, there’s no cheese cake factory in Calgary. Or it might be lucky healthy me for cutting off calories. So, short story long, I’ve been craving for this salad so why not dot it at home! I made it for lunch today and I can confidently say it’s +95% copycat of the original taste. So hop on to get to know how to make it at home.

What is Sheila’s Chicken and Avocado Salad

So in case you’ve never been to Cheesecake factory, let me tell you more about this salad. it’s very fresh and crunchy with layers of mixed greens, carrots , fresh cilantro leaves, avocados, cashew nuts, grilled chicken and topped with crispy tortilla strings. And what brings it altogether is the dressing: “Citrus Honey Peanut Vinaigrette”. The dressing name does look so fancy but it is doable at home so do not freak out.

Step 1: The Crispy Tortilla Strips

Get 2 pieces of tortilla bread, and start slicing them into very thin strips. Toritllas do not shrink in size when fried or roasted so you really want to make sure you get cut the size you desire. I used knife and cutting board to make those strips. Started by cuting tortiallas into 3 columns. Then slicing each into very thin strips. Now you could drizzle the strips with olive oil and bake for 10 mins in your oven. But I chose to deep fry it for extra crunchiness and dazzling color 😀 . Make sure you keep an eye on it, it will need 2 mins max to get into the golden brown color we need. And then after frying I kept the strips aside on a paper towel to absorb all the excess oil. And kept inside the microwave to keep warm.

Cutting Tortilla bread into thin strips
I start by cutting the bread into 3 columns than working my way into strips
Deep fry for 2 mins or until golden brown.
Crispy Tortilla Strips
Keep aside on a paper towel to absorb all excess oil.

Step 2: Citrus Honey Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

Let’s now make the dressing and trust me it’s much simpler than it seems. In a blender combine 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt and salt and pepper to taste. Blend all ingredients together until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. Then refrigerate until use.

Step 3: Cooking the Chicken

You will need 2 chicken breasts cut in halves aka cutlets. the easiest way to do it is to place the chicken on your poultry cutting boat, flat side down. Use the palm of your hand to fix the chicken. Then, using a very sharp knife cut horizontally through the breast starting from the thickest side. Next, season your chicken with salt and pepper and a pich of flour on both sides.

For cooking, you can grill the kitchen but I prefer to use my guaranteed method for juicy and tender results. In a large skillet, I add 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat it up on medium high heat. Once hot, I add the chicken and cook for 5 mins on each side. When I flip the chicken I turn the heat down to medium. Keep aside and don’t cut until serving to keep all the juices in.

Cooked chicken

Step 4: Getting Everything Else Prepped

  • You will need a 340 g (approx 5 cups) prewashed mixed greens pack. Or combine 2 cups of romaine lettuce, 1 cup arugula, 1 cup spinach and 1 cup cabbage.
  • Chop a small carrot into jullienne
  • Clean cilantro and pick approx 1/3 cup of leaves
  • Chop 2 avocados
  • Toast 1/4 cup Cashews

Step 5: Bringing it All Together

In a large salad bowl, start by placing your mixed greens. Then start layering carrots, avocados, cilantro, cashew nuts, chicken strings, and finish up with the tortilla strips. I would recommend not to add the dressing until serving time to keep your ingredients fresh. or simply serve it separately so each person can manage their portion aka calorie intake.

Do not treat this meal as a salad

I know it’s called salad but to be fair to our bodies, it’s pretty a full meal. It’s loaded with protein, oil, carbs and veggies. it’s a full balanced meal with a pinch of extra calories coming from the dressing. So I personally, eat this as a full lunch or dinner.

Sheila's chicken avocado salad
Copycat cheese cake factory sheila’s chicken avocado salad

Sheila's chicken avocado salad

Copycat Cheesecake factory Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad

Ever since I moved to Calgary, I’ve been longing for this refreshing all time favorite salad. It’s a staple order whenever my… Dinner Salad, Avocado, Chicken International Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.7/5
( 3 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 Tortilla bread cut into thin strips
  • 5 cups chopped and washed mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup julienne carrots
  • 2 avocados peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted cashews
  • For the dressing
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the chicken
  • 2 halved chicken breasts (approx 500 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

1- Deep fry your thin tortilla strips for 2 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towel to absorb all excess oil and set aside. 2- In a blender, put all your dressing ingredients and blend well until smooth and creamy. Keep refrigerated until serving. 3- Cut your chicken breasts in halves. Season with flour, salt and pepper on both sides. 4- In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breast cook for 5 mins. Then turn heat down to medium, turn the chicken and cook for another 5 mins. Cover and keep aside. 5- In a large serving bowl, start by adding your mixed greens. then add by order: avocao, cilantro leaves then cashews. 6- Cut your chicken into bite size strings and add on top of the salad. 7- Finish up with the crispy tortilla strings. 8- Serve the dressing separately to keep your salad fresh.

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