Tag Archives: salad

Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad

cheesy chili chicken salad titlesIt was the 80s – Girls Night Out meant dressing up in punk rock and mini skirts with big hair and blue eyeshadow. For us it also meant going to Ryan’s on Opelika Road for Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad. This was back when chicken fingers were a new thing, so you know it was a long time ago! The salad was huge. It came in a giant bowl ringed with tortilla chips and filled with chunks of chicken fingers, kidney beans, cheese, olives, lettuce and Ryan’s special creamy chili dressing. This recipe is my rendition of that awesome meal-in-a-salad that takes me back to those crazy nights with the girls.

Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad

Dressing:

1/3 cup full fat sour cream (I like Daisy)

1/3 cup mayonnaise (I usually buy Hain’s)

1 chipotle chile, canned (save the rest in a ziptop bag in the freezer for next time)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon sea salt

Salad:

4 cups shredded crisp lettuce such as romaine

3 cups chopped roasted chicken

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups cooked red beans

1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese

1/3 cup sliced ripe olives

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed

sliced avocado for garnish

non-GMO tortilla chips

Dice the chipotle chili very finely (wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes!) Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.   To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients except avocado and chips in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss gently to coat. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips.  Mini skirts and big hair optional.

Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: main course salad
 
Spicy creamy cool dressing coats this meal-in-a-salad filled with chunks of chicken, beans and cheese.
Ingredients
  • Dressing
  • ⅓ cup full fat sour cream such as Daisy brand
  • ⅓ cup safflower mayonnaise such as Hain's
  • 1 canned chipotle chili in adobo, reserve other chiles for another recipe
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups shredded romaine
  • 3 cups chopped roasted chicken
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cooked red beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese
  • ⅓ cup sliced ripe olives
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
  • sliced avocado for garnish
  • non-GMO tortilla chips for serving
Instructions
  1. Finely mince the one chipotle pepper.
  2. Freeze the remaining peppers for another recipe.
  3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  4. To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients (except avocado and chips) in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
  6. Toss gently to coat.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

 

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Gluten-free Tabbouleh

I love tabbouleh.  I had to look up how to spell it; apparently it can be tabouli, tabouleh, and a few more variations.  Makes sense since the salad itself has several variations. Traditionally it is made from bulgur wheat, parsley, onion, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil.  But bulgur wheat (which is made by taking grains of wheat, steaming or partially boiling them and then drying and cracking them up ) has gluten in it. Bad for me as gluten gives me a tummy ache so I avoid it whenever I can.  But what’s a girl to do when she still craves the lemony fresh green taste of a good tabbouleh?

Quinoa to the rescue!  Quinoa (keen-wa) is a pseudo-cereal meaning it’s not really a grain since it doesn’t come from a grass-type plant. Instead it is more closely related to beets or spinach, so it doesn’t contain gluten.  I buy quinoa from the bulk bins at my local health food store which saves a couple dollars per pound over the grocery store packages, but either way you will probably still need to rinse it before you cook it. Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating, so I just put the quinoa in a wire mesh strainer and rinse it for a few minutes in cold water before draining it and then cooking it. Sometimes you can find pre-rinsed quinoa so you can skip that step. Either way, quinoa is cooked like rice. 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water plus a little salt and butter, bring to a simmer, stir, cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Cool, fluff and serve.

This tabbouleh recipe makes enough for a side dish for a family of four. It can easily be doubled or tripled to make more for a crowd. It keeps for a couple of days in the refrigerator so you can make extra and take the leftovers for lunch.quinoa tabbouleh 2

Gluten-free Tabbouleh
Author: 
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
 
Quinoa is substituted for the gluten-containing bulgur wheat found in traditional versions. The bright green lemony minty flavor of tabbouleh is retained.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked as directed below
  • 4-6 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice plus some of the zest as desired
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer until the water runs clear, drain.
  2. Bring 1 cup of water and quinoa to boil in small pot along with pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp butter or oil if desired.
  3. Stir quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, remove the mint leaves and parsley leaves from the stems discarding stems, and chop them.
  5. Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
  6. Toss parsley, mint, chopped sweet onion, and tomatoes together in a bowl.
  7. Mix together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, sea salt and pepper and drizzle over the vegetable mixture.
  8. Toss well to coat the dressing over everything, then taste and adjust for salt and pepper if needed.

quinoa tabbouleh 1Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint

The weather here in Central Florida has been spectacular this week – blue skies, fluffy white clouds, temps in the mid-70s to low 80s, cool breezes in the palm trees – it’s like living in a vacation postcard 🙂   The mint in my yard is growing like crazy, I picked enough peppermint to dry and use for peppermint tea, and I’m using the English mint in a great salad recipe that I can’t wait to share with you today!  Grapefruit season stretches on at least through the end of this month and it’s getting to that time of year where people are tired of it and are leaving bags of it in the back hall at church or on people’s front porches.  My avocado tree is already blooming, getting ready for next year, but I did find a big bag of five avocadoes for $4 at Sam’s Club.

English mint

English mint

I love all the different tastes and textures in this dish with juicy tart grapefruit, creamy rich avocado, and the mojito magic of the lime and mint all come together to create a salad that makes its own dressing.   I’ve used spring mix, and I’ve used different kinds of head lettuces, but I also think arugula might be good with its peppery bite.  Sturdy Romaine holds up well if you want leftovers.  Peel and supreme the grapefruit right over the bowl you will use for the salad so you catch all the juices.  Never supreme a grapefruit? It’s easy, but you need a sharp knife! Just peel the fruit including the white pith, then use the sharp knife to slice out the individual sections and tossing the membrane (but not before squeezing out any remaining juice into the bowl!)

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
 
Bright flavors and contrasting textures in a salad that makes its own dressing.
Ingredients
  • 2 large pink grapefruit
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from one lime (and a little zest if desired)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 or 2 Hass type avocadoes
  • 1 head of lettuce or bag of spring mix, washed and spun dry
  • big handful of fresh mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Peel and supreme the grapefruit catching the juices in the bowl.
  2. Peel, pit and chop the avocado.
  3. Chop or slice the lettuce into fork-size pieces.
  4. Finely slice the mint leaves.
  5. Combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss well to coat the lettuce and distribute the ingredients.

fresh farmer's market finds

fresh farmer’s market finds

 

 

 

 

 

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