Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chicken Taco Salad

How do I feed a child who walks in the door after Cross Country practice at 5:30 and has to leave the house for soccer practice by 6:30?  Quickly - that is exactly how I feed her.  The challenge is to get healthy, protein packed food in her to replenish and refuel her for practice.  After running for miles in the afternoon heat, she really doesn't feel like eating anything heavy or hot so it's been a challenge to come up with meals that appeal to her.

This doesn't happen very often so you can imagine my surprise when she absolutely inhaled this chicken taco salad.  I didn't have very high hopes that this would even appeal to her but the moon and the stars must have been in perfect alignment that night because SHE LOVED IT! 

I did my own little happy dance at the table as I watched her eat bite after bite of this healthy meal.  (Lets just keep that "healthy" part between you and me.  Shall we?)  I got this idea from the Pioneer Woman - she's my hero.

Chicken Taco Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/4 cup colby jack cheese
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup ranch dressing
3 Tablespoons salsa
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
2 chicken breasts
packet of taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning

For the dressing, combine prepared ranch dressing and salsa.

 Stir in chopped cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning.


Let rest and then slice.
Start with a head of romaine lettuce.

Put in individual bowls.

Slice tomatoes in half and add to salad.

Add corn to salad.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Add avocado and green onions.

Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Top with sliced chicken.

Drizzle with dressing.

I'm usually not a ranch fan but this dressing was mighty tasty.

Serve this salad with extra chips and a some homemade salsa.

And, when you mix it all up - because lets face it, that's exactly how you're going to eat it, it looks like this...

Not as pretty as the first pictures but - just as delicious. 

I am not under any false allusions here to think that Courtney is going to be just as enthusiastic about this salad a second time as she was the first time because --- well --- she's 15 and her food preferences change daily hourly. 


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