Thursday, June 26, 2008


This salad is a lot like Chili's EXPLOSION SALAD without the quesadilla's. It's really good! It can be a little time consuming so I would suggest at least making the dressing and corn and bean salsa the day ahead of time. For those watching their weight, you can substitute fat free sour cream or fat free mayo in place of the regular mayo. Also, you may want to dip your forkfuls into the dressing instead of pouring it all over. You'd be surprised at how little dressing you actually use when you dip! ENJOY!!!

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

corn and black bean salsa

-Seed and dice two roma tomatoes. Put in a bowl.
-Finely dice half of a red onion. Put that in the bowl too.- Take a can of black beans. Drain and rinse well.
-use a cup or so of frozen corn. Put that in the bowl too.
-Seed and pith a jalapeno then dice. If you want it spicier, leave the seeds or add another pepper to the mix.

-Chop up some cilantro.-Squeeze in half a lime. Season the salsa with a little salt and pepper.
-Stir well then cover with saran and put in the fridge.-This can be made a day in advance.

southwest ranch dressing

-Take one package ranch dressing mix. Dump the dry mix into a bowl
-Add 1 cup mayonnaise. (Sour Cream can be substituted)
-Add 1 cup milk. Mix the dressing together.-Add 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce. If you want this spicier, add a little more.
-Add 1 tsp garlic powder.-Add 1 tsp chili powder.-Add 1 tsp cumin.-Squeeze in half of a lime.-Mix everything together. This dressing can be made days in advance. In fact, the longer it sits, the better the flavors will have a chance to marry and balance out.

Now to make tortilla strips!

-Take 4-5 fajita sized tortillas and cut in half.-Cut them into thin strips.-Heat some oil in a pot and fry the strips up. When they're nice and golden, pull from the oil and place on some paper towels.-As soon as you pull the tortilla strips from the oil, season lightly with salt. These *can* be made the day ahead. Put the strips in a ziploc or any airtight container so they don't get stale or soft.
Now it's time for the main body of the salad!

-Take a package of McCormicks Grill Mates Southwest marinade. Put 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a ziploc. Dump in the marinade (as prepared according to the directions on the package). The packaging says you only need to marinate for 15 minutes. Personally, I like it a little more seasoned, so I let them sit in that marinade all day, overnight if possible.-Grill, bake or cook the chicken on the stove until done.
-Using two forks, start pulling the meat apart. The shredded meat goes a long way vs. cutting into cubes.
-Put the chicken in a large bowl.-Chop up 1 head of iceberg lettuce and add to the bowl.
-Grate some cheese (1-2 cups). I used some cheddar and some monterey jack. Put all the cheese in the bowl too.
-Slice up one avocado. You can dice this and add directly to the lettuce bowl if you want. I leave them in slices and use on top.
-Toss everything in the bowl together. If your family likes olives, you can add some sliced black olives.
-Begin by putting some of the salad on the plate.
-Put a big handful of corn and black bean salsa on top in the middle.
-Put slices of avocado around the plate.-Put a small stack of tortilla strips on top like a haystack. These will be your "croutons" for the salad.
-Drizzle on some of the salad dressing and you're done! Time to eat up.

No comments: