Welcome to the June, Group D, reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! I hope you will take a moment to visit the Secret Recipe Club if you've never heard of it before - it is a wonderful group of food bloggers who are given a secret assignment of another member's blog each month and our goal is to pick ANYTHING from their blog to make and post about on our designated reveal day!
I have been a part of SRC for over two years now and LOVE the opportunity to get to know another blogger a little better each month by spending time browsing their blog, reading through their recipes and posts, and finding something perfect for my family from what they've shared.
For this month's assignment I was given Erin's blog, The Spiffy Cookie to work my way through. Erin is awesome - she recently received her PhD in Microbiology (that's Dr. Spiffy Cookie to you), and makes a point to cook and / or bake on an almost daily basis. Erin and I share a disinterest in making the same thing twice - there are too many new and exciting recipes out there yet to be cooked! You will find a tasty balance between healthy and indulgent on Erin's blog. Just don't invite Erin out for coffee (you'll find that on her dislike list), stick with cookies!
I have been seriously craving some summer salads lately and typically my family is not a big fan of salads for dinner, but I decided to make them "suffer" through. With that thought in mind I went straight to Erin's Salad Recipe Index. There I found a BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons, Homemade Olive Garden Salad and Dressing (my FAVORITE), Grilled Chicken Gyro Salad with Pita Croutons, a Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing (drool), Coconut Chicken Salad with Apricot Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, the Chicken Taco Salad with Quesadilla Strips, Chicken Salad with Grapes, Apple, and Pecans, and a Chick’amole Salad Sandwich!
My stomach was grumbling thinking through my options, what I thought my family would like best, and what I had ingredients for.
As you can see I opted for the Chicken Taco Salad - and my oh my was it summer salad perfection. The chicken is incredible - perfectly seasoned with a brightness from the lime juice; and the extras added to the dressing?? Ah-maz-ing! It is incredible how a few added ingredients can take normal store bought Ranch and turn it into something pretty special. I really didn't measure any of the ingredients, just eyeballed and adjusted as necessary using the recipe posted below as a guideline.
This salad is packed full of delicious fresh veggies and hearty protein. The quesadilla strips are a fantastic addition - look at all the goodies packed into this dish! We will definitely be enjoying this again - and certainly the marinated chicken in other dishes too, ok and maybe that dressing... yummm....
Chicken Taco Salad with Quesadilla Strips from The Spiffy Cookie
Makes 2 - 3 salads
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS lime juice
2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS taco seasoning
2 medium sized tortillas
4-oz shredded cheddar cheese (more or less to taste, feel free to mix and match cheeses to your personal preference)
2 TBS prepared Ranch dressing
2 TBS sour cream
1 TBS lime juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups lettuce, chopped (I used romaine)
1 ripe avocado, chopped
2/3 cup sweet corn (I used canned, drained)
1/2 large tomato, diced
- Combine the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, and taco seasoning in a resealable container; add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours, tossing occasionally, if desired, to ensure chicken is evenly coated.
- When ready to make the salads, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat a grill to medium / medium-high heat (make sure to clean and oil the grate before turning heat on). Cook chicken, flipping as needed, until cooked through (about 15 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly before slicing.
- While the chicken is cooking, take a medium sized nonstick skillet out and add a little olive oil or butter. Heat skillet over medium heat and add a tortilla, top with grated cheese and the second tortilla on top. Cook, flipping once or twice, until both sides are golden and cheese is melted, then remove from the skillet and slice into strips.
- To make the salads, place desired amount of lettuce on a plate, sprinkle corn, avocado and tomato over the top. Top with sliced chicken and quesadilla slices, then drizzle with dressing.