Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Buffalo BBQ Chicken Salad

The other day, I tweeted about a successful buffalo chicken salad:

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And The Scorpio Woman asked me to post the recipe.  I can’t post that exact recipe, because the basis of it was store-bought fried buffalo chicken chunks – not healthy, but way awesome.  However, a very similar salad has been my go-to meal for the past couple of months, especially for lunch.  I’m not always in the mood to have hot stuff (especially vegetables) in the middle of the day, so this salad is perfect.  Also, I’m a big fan of juxtaposing flavors and textures, like salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy, and cool and spicy.  This salad definitely fits the bill.

“Buffalo BBQ Chicken” Salad

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  • I take a ginormous bowl and dump in half a bag of salad – I usually use torn romaine, butter lettuce, baby spinach, and/or spring mix.
  • Add some kind of cooked chicken or chicken substitute; I tend to keep the pre-cooked fajita-type strips on hand, but today I used half a leftover breast from a couple of nights ago
  • On top, I drizzle some of my Bolthouse Farms yogurt ranch dressing (I keep this dressing in an old-fashioned squeeze bottle, like the ketchup and mustard picnic table bottles, because the bottle it comes in has a huge opening that makes it difficult to get a small amount out)
  • I also add a drizzle of barbeque sauce (my favorite is Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet – it’s got a sweeter flavor, not hickory like a lot of others, and it’s thin enough that you can pour out a small amount at a time)
  • Then I add several shakes of Tabasco sauce, depending on how saucy I feel that day.  I was using the green jalapeno variety which is a little milder and smokier, but I’ve recently started using the classic red variety for more kick.
  • Then add blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bell pepper, celery, or anything else you might like.  I like adding red bell pepper (if I don’t forget it like I did today!) because it’s sweeter and not as bitter as green bell peppers.
  • Also I just discovered this last week - adding Fiber One cereal as a crunchy topping isn't a stupid idea as I had originally thought!  It still has a "cereal" flavor, but it adds a little bit of sweet crunch to it all!
If I was really on top of my game, I’d mix the ranch, BBQ sauce, and Tabasco ahead of time and keep it on hand in its own bottle, because it makes an awesome dipping sauce for chicken or fries!

I eat this salad a few times a week, but I’m not sick of it yet, and I don’t see myself getting sick of it any time soon.  It’s easy enough to throw together in a few minutes, and the flavors are interesting and classic enough to keep me “entertained.” 

Do you have a go-to meal like this that you’ll never get sick of, or would you consider yourself in a rut if you ate the same thing a lot?

5 comments:

  1. Yummy-I usually eat the same breakfast and lunch most days but mix it up for suppertime :)

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  2. I eat a huge spinach salad M-F. I will vary it up with either tuna, a portabella w/cheese on the side, avocado and egg mix, shrimp on top, chicken on top, etc

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  3. I really like the idea of your salad with ranch dressing, bbq sauce and tabasco. I'll try it. I'm saving it for later :) Thanks for putting it here.

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  4. @Candace - I often eat the same breakfast when blueberries are in season (and I'm eating carbs) - yogurt + cereal + blueberries!

    @Amanda - That's interesting that you always have a salad for lunch. Do you ever get tired of it? Granted, you mix it up a great deal so it's not always the same. I'm sure it makes prep easier since you're in a habit!

    @scorpiowoman - Thanks! I hope you like it!

    @Nicci - It's an amazing thing, am I right? ;)

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