We are in the final month of summer already, but I refuse to start getting all crazy about fall. It seems like everywhere I look lately there's 'back to school' and pumpkin-everything and cozy sweaters. And I just won't have it. Not yet. Fall is a lovely season, but summer is my favorite and I will not rush it. I just will not. ;)
So, with that in my mind, I wanted to share a very simple, fresh, laid-back summertime salad with you all. Salads definitely mean 'spring/summer' to me. Interestingly, I typically have no desire for salads in the colder months but the moment the weather starts warming up, I think salads are great for almost every meal! :) And in the opposite way, during the warm months I have no desire for soups, casseroles, etc., but the moment the weather starts turning cold, that's all I want. For every meal. It's like I have an internal seasonal appetite regulator. hehe
Anyway . . . I went off on a bit of a bunny trail, didn't I? Back to the salad. I saw a photo for a bbq chicken salad recently and decided to make it for our dinner one night. I must admit, I measured almost nothing. I added ingredients based on the looks of things alone. But that's part of what makes this salad so simple. No recipe to follow really, just a general round-up of ingredients.
I thawed 1 chicken breast (for two entree size salads), then butterflied it completely in half to thin it out and sliced it into strips. After that, I seasoned it with a southwestern seasoning. Almost any will do - taco, Adobo - whatever you have on hand. Once it was seasoned, I just tossed it in a pan and sauteed it until it was cooked through.
While the chicken cooked, I chopped up a combination of Romaine and iceberg lettuce. To the lettuce, I added sliced onions, chopped green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes - halved, canned corn - drained, and black beans - drained & rinsed. (You'll probably notice there aren't any tomatoes in the photo of the salad. I took a photo of my husband's salad because it looked prettier than mine, but he's not a fan of tomatoes so that's why they aren't there. :) ) By the time I had the veggies all mixed up and plated, the chicken was finished cooking. I added it directly on top of the salad in addition to tortilla strips and freshly grated cheddar cheese. For the finishing touch, I drizzled on some classic Ranch dressing and some bbq sauce.
From start to finish, the assembly of this entire salad only took about 20 minutes. It was so convenient for a weeknight and gave us the benefit of being both filling and light at the same time if that makes sense. ;) Filled with fresh garden veggies, this salad definitely makes me feel like we're still deep in summertime and that makes me very happy. :)