Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Salad

As I mentioned yesterday, my sister Jessi has a real knack for making salads.  I look forward to going to her house for girls night because I know she'll show me some new combination of salad ingredients that just go together perfectly that I would have never thought to put together myself. 

This is one of those salads.  The buffalo chicken makes it feel/taste decadent but by just using two strips and loading the rest full of healthy veggies, it is really not that bad for you.

Start with the best part of the salad.  The fried chicken pieces.  If you've never had Tyson's Frozen Buffalo Tenders you are really missing out.  These things are so good.  If you have a little time before a football game I highly recommend putting these bad boys in the oven and serving them with a bowl of blue cheese dressing and some celery.   But for our salad's purpose, we are just going to microwave two of them.  They still get plenty crisp and I am usually too hungry after work to wait for the oven.

To a bowl of Romaine Lettuce, add 1/4 of an avocado - chopped into bite size pieces.  I cut the avocado in 1/2 and then cut out 1/2 of the side without the pit in it.  To store the rest, I put it back together, wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge.  Keeping the pit in the avocado should keep it from getting brown for the next day or two. 

Next I quarter about 7 - 10 grape tomatoes depending on the size.

On top of this I add some of this delicious broccoli slaw from Trader Joes.  If you don't have a Trader Joes near you, please take a minute to mourn in silence.  Once that is done, you can replace this with some chopped up celery.  I make this substitution whenever I am out of the brocolli slaw or have just plain forgotten to get it.  You basically just want something crunchy and cool in the salad - and celery and buffalo chicken go hand in hand in my book. 

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and add the celery in here too.  I'm wild like that.

Next I add a little bit of chopped cilantro.  I never even considered adding cilantro into a salad before - to me, it was reserved for pico de gallo.  But I watched my Aunt Nancy - the only person better then Jessi at making salads - do it once and I've been converted ever since.  The cilantro just makes the whole thing taste so fresh and adds this wonderful depth of flavor to the salad. 

Top this all off with 2 tablespoons of your favorite ranch dressing.  Mine is this Naturally Fresh Light Ranch.  It is sold in the refrigerated produce section in most grocery stores and is oddly made by the same folks who own Hooters.  (Thank you Undercover Boss for teaching me something.)

Finally the piece-de-resistance.  add in the bite size chunks of heated Tyson's Frozen Buffalo Tenders.

Give it a quick toss and enjoy.  The warmth of the buffalo strips and the coolness of the ranch combined with the crispness of the slaw/celery and the smoothness of the avocado.  To Die For. 

You might think that this bowl is preparing two servings, but you'd be wrong.  This one is all mine.

Shopping List for Buffalo Chicken Salad (makes 1 serving)
  • 2 Tyson's Buffalo Chicken Strips
  • 3 Cups Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 7 - 10 Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Broccoli Slaw - roughly chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing

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