Thursday, February 21, 2013

Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad
A couple weeks ago I went out to dinner with my hunny and had an amazing salad.  I disceted each mouthful, calulated proportions, and learned that I too could make this divine creation.  Ok.  It is a little time consuming-- making a Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Pico de Gallo, Margarita Chicken AND a Jalapeno Dressing for a single meal, but the results are spectacular.  If needed, substitute your favorite recipe (home or store made) to save some time and dirty dishes.

My favorite part of this meal was leaving each ingredient separate (it cut down on complaints, wasted food and I could make the dressing HOT)  and seeing how my kids made their own "salad."

After seeing me take a picture of my salad my little ones wanted their "salads'" pictures taken too....

Southwest Chicken Salad
Black Bean Salsa Recipe *
Pico de Gallo Recipe*
Jalapeno Dressing Recipe*
Margarita Chicken Recipe*
3 cups chopped lettuce
1/2 cup shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

The secret to the fabulous salad?  PROPORTIONS !   Too much of any one thing overpowers the palate.  When plating this dish use equal parts lettuce, black bean & corn salsa, and pico de gallo.  Use 1/2 part chicken and 1/4 part crushed chips, 1/8 part dressing and cheese.  So, for a single serving dinner salad I would  use, 1 cup lettuce, 1 cup black bean & corn salsa, 1 cup pico,  1/2 cup chicken, 1/4 cup chopped chips, 2 Tablespoons cheese and 2 Tablespoons jalapeno dressing.

*Recipe Below

Jalapeno Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream (* healthy substitute plain greek yogurt)
1 Tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons tomato sauce (in a pinch use the liquid from canned salsa)
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices
1 teaspoon minced onion
Kidlett # 4's "salad"
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Serve over salad.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
1 1/2 cups corn
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine ingredients.  Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to mix.

Pico de Gallo
Kidlett #3's Plate Art
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Combine ingredients.  Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to mix.

Margarita Chicken  Tequila Lime and Salt flavor this chicken (minus the tequila at my house...)
2 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tablespoons salt
Splash of Tequila (optional)

Place the chicken breast on a cutting board.  Hold the chicken with one hand and slice the chicken horizontally to make thin breast pieces.  Toss the 4 breast pieces in a zip bag with the lime, salt and tequila.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour.

Grill the chicken over meduim high heat 10 minutes on each side or until the juices run clear.  Allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes.  For the Chopped Chicken Salad, slice the chicken to cubes.

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