March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign that focuses on the value of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating habits. With daylight savings and spring equinox now behind us, our appetites naturally begin to shift along with the season. We begin to crave foods that are fresher and lighter than the heavier fare upon which we relied to keep us warm and cozy throughout the cold winter. In springtime, we instead turn our tastebuds toward crisper, greener things.

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Chopped salads are quite on trend at the moment, with countless variations popping up all over the place from restaurant menus to food blogs. A chopped salad is one where all of the ingredients are cut into smaller, fairly uniform pieces, often with a base of chopped greens – such as lettuce, spinach, or kale. An American Cobb is a traditional example of a chopped salad, but the options are truly endless.

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My take on a chopped salad makes nostalgic nod to the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, a.k.a. the BLT. As I strongly believe that slices of ripe avocado make just about anything better, especially a B.L.T. sandwich, I’ve added that to the salad as well. Then, I finished it with some salty feta cheese. For dressing, perhaps try a lightened up Ranch made with Greek yogurt to mimic the mayonnaise on a BLT sandwich. Or go with my favorite: an acidic and slightly sweet lime vinaigrette to offset the saltiness of the bacon and feta cheese.

BLT Chopped Salad with Avocado

A colorful and fresh BLT Chopped Salad with a lime vinaigrette. Adapted from [How Sweet Eats|http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/05/blt-chopped-salad-with-corn-feta-avocado/] and dressing from [Damn Delicious|http://damndelicious.net/2014/01/13/blt-chopped-salad/].

Yields: 2 servings

  • For the Salad:
  • 4 cups crisp green lettuce like romaine or green leaf, chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • For the Lime Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Divide the chopped lettuce into 2 serving bowls. Top each salad with half of the bacon, tomatoes, avocados, and cheese. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette (below) or dressing of your choice. Serve promptly. Serves 2.

!To Make the Dressing:

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, zest, sugar, salt and pepper until well-combined and sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.

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