Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Taco Salad

Cooking is certainly more of an art than a science in my household, and I look at recipes as general guidelines that I'm free to change.  Actually, if you ask Ben, I never follow a recipe exactly.

Why is this?

I think recipes are one person's way of doing things based on taste preferences and what food is available.  I don't like mushrooms and Ben doesn't like bell peppers, so I eliminate them or substitute other vegetables.  I don't have broccoli rabe, but I have three tons of kale, so guess what?  I use kale!  It's a rare day that I go to the store and buy all the food I need for an exact recipe because more often than not, I've spontaneously decided to make something based on the ingredients in my fridge.  I consider it a win if I have even 50% of the recipe's original ingredient list.

Which brings me to chicken taco salad.  Chicken taco salad is my ultimate spontaneous meal.  I generally need lettuce and chicken (though I've used ground beef, making it just taco salad) but the rest of the ingredients are up for grabs.  We usually have canned corn and some type of canned or frozen beans.  Tomatoes?  Often.  Salsa?  Usually.

We tend to use salsa for the dressing but if we don't have any AND we don't have the ingredients to make it, I'll whip up a lime dressing using lime juice, flax or olive oil with chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and sugar.

What else can you put in your taco salad?  Avocado, carrots, tomatillos, a little cheese and/or a touch of sour cream.  If I give you an ingredient list, can you whip this up on your own?

I bet you can!

Chicken Taco Salad

Mix and match ingredients based on what you have available in your home and what you love!
  • Chicken breast, cooked and seasoned to taste (in summer I grill, but in winter you can poach, pan sear or bake)
  • Lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Beans (black, pinto, or kidney) rinsed and heated
  • Corn, heated
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Cheese, shredded
  • Sour Cream
  • Carrot, chopped
  • Salsa
  • Tomatillos, chopped
  • Dressing (any type you love)
What else would you add to this taco salad?  Leave a comment!

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