Barbecue Ranch Chicken Salad

DSC_0667RECIPE #492, DAY #677

FIVE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “BBQ Chicken Salad” from the My Other Meals section of Damn Delicious online*

TIMING: 15 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you don’t overcook the chicken

TOOLS: Saute pan or griddle

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: This is another winner from Darn Delicious (yes, I am a prude). Chock full of raw veggies, just go easy on the lean protein and the dressing. However, believe it or not, some fat is needed to synthesize all these vitamins and nutrients into your body. Processed sugar, not so much, so also choose your barbecue sauce wisely. I always do. 😉

DSC_0669EXPERIENCE: I was searching for easy and healthy lunch ideas when I came across this. And actually, since I work from home, it was doable for lunch because it went together in a snap. Then, I packaged up about 2/3rds of it, used some for another lunch, and brought it along for a camping trip. In the end, the camping was the brilliance here. Once you cut up the veggies and do a quick and easy cook on the chicken, everything can go into a cooler for a healthy, easy, pleasant supper right after you set up camp. (Obviously, the chicken and beans would not keep very long in a conventional cooler. Just make sure to replace your ice as it melts.)

But even at home, this is a great lunch to “make” ahead and have on-hand for lunchboxes. Or just make it for dinner and eat it on the deck. For that matter, go ahead and grill the chicken.

NOTES: As you can see, I threw an avocado on top, because it was available. There are not many things that avocado-or bacon–will not play nice with.

***

  1. Heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper 2 chicken breasts and add to the pan. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Whisk together ¼ cup premium Ranch dressing and ¼ up barbecue sauce. Set aside.
  3. Toss together 1 cup each grated Monterrey Jack and sharp cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  4. When chicken has rested, cut into strips on the bias. Set aside.
  5. Set out all of the following: 1-2 heads chopped Romaine lettuce, 1 diced tomato, 1 cup sweet corn, 1 cup drained pinto beans, ¼ diced red onion, corn tortilla chip strips, the chicken, dressing, and cheese. Allow diners to compose their own salad.

***

Serve with a sparkling lemonade.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Keep all the ingredients separate and refrigerated, and you can have a super-easy lunch or supper, for days.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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