Sunday, April 13, 2014

Barbecued Chicken Chopped Salad

Well, I guess I can't dodge the inevitable: Summer.  Yesterday we hit 80 degrees and it's not even Easter.  Jim spent all day Friday and Saturday working in the yard so I figured it was time to pull out the salad file.  I mean, who wants a heavy evening meal after spending the day in the sun?

This is a perfect warm-weather entree salad.  Filling, but no need to heat up your kitchen.  I think the jicama is essential, so unless you just can't find it, please don't omit it.  It gives a delightful crunch.  Jim is not a fan of avocados, but I would defnitely add some slices to my salad.  I'm adding my favorite Ranch Dressing recipe which is a staple in my fridge.


8 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup chopped jicama
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed  and 1/2 cup corn niblets
1 (11 oz) can Green Giant southwestern-style corn, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup cilantro
avocado, optional
Ranch Dressing

Spray a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium heat.  Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness and add to the skillet.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until underside is brown.  Turn the breasts, and top each with 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce.  Continue to cook 3 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Transfer the breasts to a cutting board, slice each into 1/4" slices, turn, and cut again into cubes.  Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, mix lettuce, tomatoes, jicama, black beans, and corn.  Dress with Ranch Dressing.  Place equal portions on four plates.  Sprinkle cheese around the edges and set aside.

Top the salad with the cooled, cubed chicken, green onions, cilantro, and avocado if using.

Recipe Source:  adapted from Marlene Koch's "Eat What You Love Everyday," p. 168


3/4 cup mayo (I use half regular Hellman's and half reduced-fat)
1/2 cup regular or fat-free buttermilk
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried minced onion
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
coarsely ground pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.  Chill at least several hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

NOTE:  Once you make this, you will never buy bottled Ranch Dressing again.  This is wonderful on salad, for a vegetable dip, and really good on pizza crusts!

Recipe Source:  adapted from Betty Crocker cookbook

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