It’s been a very busy couple of weeks…actually a very busy winter altogether. I’ve tried to keep cooking family dinners as much as possible but I haven’t been quite as successful as I like which has resulted in more week night dinners out and more trips through the Wendy’s drive thru for the kids (gotta do it sometimes!). Nonetheless, I refuse to not eat home cooked meals at least a couple times a week so I’ve relied on two tricks recently to ensure that this happens… 1.) cook enough one night for leftovers the next night and 2.) try not to make more than one involved part of a meal — like if I’m making an involved meat dish, I may allow myself to use pre-cooked microwavable rice or pre-cut and bagged broccoli. Anyway, the above expains why I haven’t posted as frequently — there just hasn’t been enough time. But I do have a back log of great recipes so stay tuned for some goodies. A few weeks ago, I had some of my awesome pulled chicken leftover from making chicken broth (see Classic Chicken Noodles Soup with Homemade Stock) so I decided to just make a quick salad for dinner. I was inspired by a photo I saw in a magazine when we were on vacation where the beautiful, colorful salad toppings were all lined up against each other making this vibrant pop of color on top of the green lettuce. I decided on a southwest theme using chicken, black beans, corn and red peppers (I needed RED but hubby doesn’t love tomatoes). I love using salsa for salads in place of salad dressing so I whipped up a version of my Tomatillo Sauce which is used on my Blackened Shrimp Tacos. It turned out like a creamy salsa verde (I threw some greek yogurt in) with a solid amount of spice! The kids opted for all the ingredients in a burrito instead of a salad but essentially we all ate the same thing that night and it only took about 15 minutes to make the salsa and if your shredded chicken is pre-cooked you are looking at 20 minutes to get dinner on the table!
Striped Southwest Salad with Tomatillo Salsa Verde (Serves 4)
Mixed Greens, Romain, Spinach, Arugula (whatever you have on hand)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can low sodium corn, rinsed and drained
1/2 red pepper, diced
2-3 cups shredded chicken
Optional: diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, diced red onion, shredded cheddar cheese etc
8 small or 6 medium/large tomatillos, husked and cut in half
5 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno (I used an entire Serrano pepper and it was a little much, so I’m recommending 1 jalapeno for a medium level of spice)
2 tsp lime juice
1-2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt (or omit if you don’t want the creamy factor)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to broil. Line a pan with tin foil. Place halved tomatillos, halved pepper and whole garlic cloves on pan. Broil for about 3 minutes or until the top starts to char. Pull pan out, turn tomatillo halves, peppers and garlic over and broil for another 2-3 minutes to char the other side. In food processor or blender add charred tomatillos and garlic with all other ingredients and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange lettuce in 4 bowls. Line chicken and other ingredients in rows. Drizzle with the Tomatillo Salsa Verde and garnish with lime wedges and/or cilantro.