First of all, the chicken. Try to get free range chicken with no antibiotics or added hormones. (Simple Truth brand from Smith's or Harvestland from Walmart) However, there is no way to guarantee what the conditions are of the chicken unless you personally see how they are raised. This is why it's a great idea to buy your meat from a local farm that you trust. If you are in Utah, utahnaturalmeat.com is a great option. If not, check out eatwild.com for a list of local farms in your area that raise all-natural, grass-fed, pastured beef and free-range chicken and eggs with no added antibiotics or hormones.
The next item that is different in this salad is the tortilla chips. If you're like us, you love to eat tortilla chips. They seem like they should be a relatively healthy snack, but the problem is, if you've read my posts about GMOs, you know that corn is one of the most commonly genetically modified foods. However, blue and white corn have not yet been genetically modified, so it is safer to get either blue or white corn tortilla chips. However, even if the corn is not GMO, it's still possible that the oil used in the chips is. So, your safest bet is to get some chips that are certified non-GMO like these from Garden of Eatin. I get these at Smith's or Macey's.
Another element that makes this salad different, and oh-so-much better than the average taco salad is the homemade ranch dressing. Combining your own homemade ranch seasoning mix (recipe here) with Vegenaise instead of Mayonaise (mayo is mostly made up of soybean oil - GMO!!) is a much healthier, and much tastier alternative to regular ol' ranch dressing. I get the Vegenaise made with Grapeseed oil, which is really good for you. There are other versions as well. Currently this is not sold in any regular grocery stores I shop at, so I pick up a few jars each time I go to Good Earth health food store.
Now for the recipe.
Salsa Chicken Salad
1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-2 cups salsa (choose a brand without added preservatives or sugar, or use homemade!)
1 tsp homemade taco seasoning
juice of 1 lime
3 cups cooked brown rice (can add onions, lime juice, cilantro and chicken broth for extra tasty rice)
non-GMO tortilla chips
1 can black beans
Homemade Ranch Dressing (Recipe below)
Place chicken in a slow cooker and season with salt. Pour salsa over chicken and make sure chicken is completely covered. Add taco seasoning and lime juice and stir into the salsa. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Place chips on a plate. Add rice, beans, and chicken on top of the chips. Then add lettuce and other toppings.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 cup Vegenaise
1/2 cup rice milk
1 Tbsp homemade ranch seasoning
Pour milk into a glass jar that has a tight lid. Add Vegenaise and seasoning. Shake until well blended.