Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quick and Easy Chicken Chopped Salad

As much as I love doing almost everything from scratch, there are certain shortcuts I take because of time and sometimes money, though while taking shortcuts, I try to still remain true to buying items with the best ingredients, not settling for a cheap substitute.

A few days ago while waiting for my daughter to finish up a class, I stopped in at Fred Meyers to purchase something to make for dinner. I live in a small town about 20-30 minutes drive to a larger city and while our town does have a Safeway and a Walmart, sometimes I miss the convenience of visiting larger stores more often, or stores like Trader Joes, Chucks Produce, etc..with more of a variety of healthy options. So, as I was perusing the aisles, I saw some Dole Chopped Salad mixes on sale. I have always wanted to try a chopped salad, but just never took the time to purchase all the ingredients to put it together. The BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad Kit caught my eye and I thought it would be perfect with some grilled chicken on top! This particular kit included: green cabbage, red cabbage, green onion, kale, carrots, cheddar tortilla strips, crispy fried onions, and BBQ Ranch Dressing. I then headed off to find some chicken tenders, opting for their Simple Truth brand. I knew this would make a great meal. 

Once home all it takes is a simple seasoning of the chicken, my favorites being, garlic and onion powder, pepper, paprika, and maybe just a bit of italian seasoning. Grill the tenders, allow to cool or serve hot over the salad. We found that we actually really like the salad this way. It's much easier to eat and has great flavor. We had leftover salad and chicken which I ate for lunch the next day. While the dressing was gone, I did have a jar of Ranch in the fridge as well as a bottle of BBQ sauce, so I combined the two and came up with a great substitute for the package that came with the kit, plus I knew better what the ingredients were in the combo I mixed. 

What I discovered is that these kits would be a perfect meal for last minute guests, to take to a picnic or potluck or to have on hand for those nights you don't want to fix something. Hard boil some eggs, add some bacon or other protein, the options are endless...they are easier to eat and I found, more substantial and filling. We enjoyed them so much, it's what I made for dinner last night, this time opting to just make my own dressing. Winner, Winner, Chicken Chopped Salad Dinner!

I know you can easily make this yourself, as well, and I'm sure I'll try that too. When it comes to lettuces, I try to always buy those organic, but I couldn't find an organic kit so I purchased what was there. I would like to try it myself, but it's nice to know the kits are available in a jam! If we have had a heavy meal on a particular day, I like to light the next day, usually serving a large salad. 

With Joy UNquenchable,

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