Can we talk about salad for a minute? First of all, salad is a perfectly legitimate meal choice. Take this baby for example-chicken, beans, veggies, tangy yogurt-coriander dressing, a light drizzle of barbecue sauce. Yum, right? I am obviously no salad hater. Still, I have to say that there is absolutely nothing more annoying than traveling with someone who goes out to dinner and orders a salad.
The perpetual salad orderer is akin to the person who spends thousands of dollars on a plane ticket but won’t pay three euro to enter a museum. Don’t get me wrong, if you hate museums and would rather spend your money on a beer with new friends, I totally understand. It’s all about your priorities, right? The backpacker in me has been known to pop into the grocery store for a baguette and a few slices of prosciutto, even in the foodiest of destinations, in the interest of saving a buck. (I have to admit, however, that the older I get the less the word “backpacker” describes me.) The point is, none of us are made of money. I get it. Which is why it is even more baffling to me when someone orders a salad for dinner at a restaurant. At a restaurant! Like, instead of a meal! No Italian pasta, no French cheese, no Kazakhstani manti. Salad. You can’t buy lettuce at home? Oh, you’re on a diet? Well, most restaurant salads aren’t even healthy (all those calorie laden toppings are what makes them so tasty).
I used to think that using your precious restaurant money on salad was the ultimate foodie traveler sin, until my cousin told me about a trip she took to Mexico with a group of girlfriends. Worried about saving money, some of the girls wanted to cook dinners at their condo instead of going out. I don’t know why you go to Mexico other than for the food (and culture, and beach, and welcoming people, ok there are a million reasons), but whatever, eating in a few nights is not an inherently bad idea. So, the girls went to the store and came back with fixings for…tacos. No spices. Just meat and tortillas. In Mexico, home of the cheap and oh-so-delicious taco. Go figure.
So, all this to say, I like to make my salads at home.
This Barbecue Chicken Salad is the king of salads. Or at least it’s so delicious that all other salads are but a distant dream right now. The premise is simple-crisp lettuce, tender chicken, sweet barbecue sauce, and tangy yogurt-coriander dressing. I like to top this salad with canned corn, or leftover corn (off?) the cob, but this time I used a bit of tomato-less salsa from Trader Joe’s. We’ll definitely be repeating that little trick. I usually make this with left over roasted or rotisserie (I’ll be honest, these days it’s usually rotisserie) chicken, which allows the salad to come together in a flash.
Do you have a favorite salad to make at home? (Or even one you
order have seen on the menu at your favorite restaurant?) Tell me about it in the comments!
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup pulled rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 large tomato
- 1/4 cup sweet corn or corn salsa
- 2 Tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Chop romain into bite-sized pieces.
- Top with chicken, black beans, chopped tomato, corn, and avocado.
- In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, coriander, black pepper, and paprika. If you used greek yogurt (like I did) you might need to thin the dressing out a bit more. I added a tablespoon of buttermilk. You could also use milk, or kefir.
- Drizze yogurt mixture over salads, followed by a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Garnish with crushed tortilla chips if you so desire.