Thursday, October 11, 2007

Open Letter to My Loving Husband Ryan

Dear Loving Husband,

Though I love your funny comments, thank you by the way, if you plan on going on a tangent (see second comment on Taco Salad Post) or turning this into your own public forum may I suggest that you please get your own blog.

Love Always,
Your Loving Wife & Cook Claudia

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

So last night we had Mom, Dad and Nona over for dinner and we made The Man Pleaser. And oooo girl did we eat our weight in calories, carbs and saturated fats, but it was oh so good! So tonight, and maybe for the next two weeks, Ryan and I are on a "diet".

I had been sitting on this recipe for a couple of weeks now and today was the perfect day for it. Usually I am against salads as a main course because I don't think of them as a "main course". But boy oh boy did this salad prove me wrong. Not only was it filling but it was oh so tasty! We made some modifications, of course, but that doesn't deter from the orginal recipe.

Chicken Chipotle Taco Salad Recipe Courtesy of: Cooking Light Magazine

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce (I also added a tspn of the adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (Used Mexican Chili Powder)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast) (I blackened & BBQ'd the chicken breasts, see notes below)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (Used whole grape tomatoes)
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado (omitted, only because there were no ripe ones at the grocery store)
1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (omitted because I didn't feel like beans)
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained (Used Trader Joes Fire Roasted Corn)

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well. (Did this an hour ahead to let the flavors combine)

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad (I drizzled a little over the top, see above picture for looks); toss gently to coat (I didn't toss I served as is with the dressing on the side and even then we only used a fraction of it). Serve immediately.

Tip: Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. Kidney or pinto beans also taste great in this dish.

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 249(30% from fat); FAT 8.2g (sat 2.8g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 23.3g; CHOLESTEROL 50mg; CALCIUM 106mg; SODIUM 650mg; FIBER 7g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.1g
David Bonom Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Notes: Here is my secret recipe to blackening the chicken; rinse and pat chicken dry, start by seasoning one side at a time, sprinkle salt (enough to season or taste), then cayenne pepper (only if you want it truly spicy), then go to Ralph /Kroger and buy their Blackenend Chicken Seasoning and sprinkle it on 'til every litle bit of the chicken is covered in it and repeat on the other side. Ha ha! You thought I was going to give you a recipe full of different spices to make your own blackened season didn't cha! You should know by now I take my help where I can get it. One more thing if you make it as I suggest it will be a little spicy.

Final Thought: I don't know why it's called a taco salad as there is no trace of "taco" anywhere, but I digres. This recipe could be easily thrown together by buying a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and cubing the breast and saving the rest for another meal, perhaps some taquitos mmmm...