I haven’t posted many salads here, mostly because I figure, well, there isn’t much cooking involved. You take whatever ingredients you enjoy, you toss them together with some lettuce, and voila – a salad. However, I don’t mind posting salads (or pasta salads, or things of that nature) if they involve some kind of unique flavor combination, OR if there’s a homemade dressing involved! In this case, the chipotle honey dressing put me over the edge – we LOVED this stuff. Seriously, I ate it for days. It’s apparently a copycat of Chipotle’s vinaigrette, but since I’ve never gone there and ordered a salad (I mean come on) I have no idea how it actually compares. But it’s definitely delicious. And okay, sure, you’re still not cooking per se – but I’m going to say it counts. Because it’s my blog and I do what I want. Just kidding. Maybe.
The other nice thing about salads is that I can prep all the ingredients, put them out in separate bowls or storage containers, and Daren and I can pick and choose our own ingredients. For example, Daren isn’t a bell pepper fan, while I could easily eat a whole one raw. More for me! You can then store the leftovers in their separate containers in the fridge, and have yourself an almost-ready-made salad whenever you feel like it. Easy dinner – that’s the way we like things to be during the week around here. Except for when I get it into my head that I should try a really complex recipe on a Wednesday night, and then it’s 8:30 and we still haven’t eaten yet. Doesn’t sound TOO bad until you consider the fact that I can barely stay away past 9 on a school night. Oh well… back to the salad.
For the chipotle honey vinaigrette:
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1¼ tsp. ground chipotle powder
- Juice of ½ lime
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¾ tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ tsp. sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, seasoned (we used a buffalo-style rub from Whole Foods; you could also use taco seasoning or any similarly-flavored dry rub), grilled and sliced
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup corn
- ½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 avocados, sliced in half lengthwise, pitted, removed from the skin, and chopped
- ½ small red onion, diced small or thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
(you could also include shredded Cheddar, chopped tomatoes, and/or sour cream)
To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients except the oil together in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Refrigerate the dressing for at least 1 hour before using.
While the vinaigrette chills, grill the chicken and chop the veggies. Assemble the salads as desired and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Store leftovers un-dressed in the refrigerator.
Yield: About 6 servings
Source: Smells Like Home