Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken Taco Salad

(a photo with fresh flowers that Matt brought home that night...)

Another great weeknight salad that's quick to whip up is this very simple Chicken Taco Salad - all the great taste of a flavourful chicken taco on a bed of greens. Plus, you can really vary the variety of vegetables by choosing whatever ingredients you'd like.

We like this salad because it makes us feel like we're enjoying a healthier dinner with loads of vegetables and very minimal fats (aside from the cheese, of course), and the only cooking required is to boil the chicken for 10 minutes or so. Then you chop into pieces, let it marinade in the dressing mix for about 30 minutes, assemble the salad and you're good to go! So, you're entire meal is pretty much ready in about 45 minutes, and there are hardly any dishes to clean. Plus, by adding the chicken to the salad, it really does make it a filling meal, so you're not hungry again in an hour or so (although, that is about the time we dig into our candy cupboard for an evening snack...).  

I've also made this salad by cooking up a batch of ground beef with the a package of taco seasonings, and again, instead of putting them into shells or wraps, simply spread over the salad, top with your choice(s) of cheese, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. While it's also a nice variation, I do like the marinade this recipe uses for the chicken a lot better.


4 cups water
3/4 pound chicken tenderloins
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon taco seasoning
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, bring water to a boil. Reduce heat; add chicken. Poach, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain and cool slightly. Cut chicken into cubes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, onion, lime juice, oil, pepper sauce, lime peel, taco seasoning and chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Just before serving, toss the chicken mixture with the lettuce, tomato, cheese and peanuts. Yield: 2 servings.

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