Friday, January 12, 2007

Kalyn's Southwest Chicken Salad With Chipotle Ranch Dressing (p1)
(1 serving as a main dish salad, recipe created by Kalyn with much inspiration from Rubio's)

The Salad:
3/4 - 1 cup diced cooked chicken
(1 chicken breast)
3 or 4 T Chipotle Ranch Dressing
(recipe follows)
2-3 cups washed and torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese like a low-fat Mexican Blend
1/2 cup (more or less to taste) chopped fresh cilantro

Mix diced chicken with desired amount of salad dressing and set aside while you prep other ingredients. Combine lettuce, red pepper and cilantro in large mixing bowl (not the bowl you're serving salad in.) Stir in chicken with dressing and mix lightly, until dressing is distributed throughout salad. Sprinkle with cheese and stir gently a few more times, then serve.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing:
(Makes 2 1/2 cups. Recipe created by Kalyn. Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Season packet (it makes up about 2 cups worth of Ranch)
1c Skim milk
1c mayo
a splash or two of lemon juice (added to the milk to make a buttermilk)
1/2 c salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Mild)
1/2 tsp ground Chipotle Chile Powder (I used 1 tsp Mrs. Dash [salt free] Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend)
Kayln says: "If you don't have Chipotle Chile powder, could substitute regular chile powder and a small amount of hot sauce."

Put 1 to 2 splashes of lemon juice in 1 cup of skim milk and set aside to curdle. In a small mixing bowl add dry Ranch dressing powder and 1 cup mayo. Add the lemon milk, aka buttermilk, mix well and set aside. Put salsa in food processor or blender and puree for about a minute or so (with steel blade). Add all of the Ranch Dressing and 1/2 to 1 tsp ground Chipotle and process until well combined. ENJOY!!!

~~After my workout at the gym I went to the store for their evening markdown on rotisserie chicken. They were out (!!!) so I got a couple of boxes of Tyson frozen grilled chicken strips and the rest of the salad fixings and took my starving self home to get this made up :D Instead of premixing the ingredients before serving I just laid the lettuce down on the plates, topped with chopped red and orange bell peppers, mounded the (microwaved) diced chicken in the center , sprinkled with fresh chopped cilantro and drizzled the Chipotle Ranch Dressing over each beautiful salad. I totally forgot the cheese (strange for me as I LOVE cheese, but I think I was just so eager about getting started on this awesome salad) yet cheese-less it still was very pretty and OH SO GOOD!!!

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