Saturday, March 26, 2011

Salad make-over

In the immortal words of Homer Simpson and my sister-in-law Tara, you don't make friends with salad. But in the battle of the bulge, its often a good option. 

Salad's are healthy, right? I mean the main component is usually veggies and veggies are good for you, yeah? Yeah, veggies are good for you, but the other stuff that clogs up salads (creamy salad dressing, cheese, croutons, meat, pasta, ect...) might add to the taste but it also ups the calorie count, fats, choesterol, sodium, carbs....oh the humanity!

Most fast food salads are worse for you than eating a greasy hamburger, I'm serious. So what is a poor little fat girl supposed to do? You can't eat the good stuff and all of a sudden, salads aren't what they claim to be. I call it false advertising.

I'm proud to report that I am down 11 pounds since I started a few weeks ago, thanks to exercising and making food changes. Nothing drastic (I had caramel popcorn last night) but subtle changes have made a big difference. I also got a brand, spankin' new pair of tennis shoes that I can't wait to break in at the gym. 

While I've been stalking Pinterest, I've been finding some really good recipes. I found one BBQ chicken salad with BBQ lime cilantro dressing. The picture looked great so I decided to give it the Ballou make-over and make some improvements. And I'm proud to say that once again, I was victorious and amazing and incredible and....well, you get the point right? Right.

The base for this salad is slow-cooked shredded BBQ chicken. The only BBQ sauce I use is my dad's famous BBQ Sauce recipe (if I see you using another sauce I might have to smack you). I salt and peppered two honkin' big chicken breasts (DDD's atleast) and then seared them quickly in a smokin' hot pan before adding them to the crockpot with about 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce. I cooked it on high for about three hours and then shredded it.

I cut up a head of Romain lettuce in thin strips and added frozen corn (I would have added black beans but didn't have any. Next time though, they are yummy and add tons of fiber) about four ounces (1/2 cup) of the BBQ chicken and a handful of those crunchy tortilla strips. I know, could it get any better? Big yes on that. 

The dressing for this salad reminded me of the stuff you can get at Cafe Rio or Costa Vida. The original recipe called for one cup of mayonnaise. Holy fat and calories Batman! I substituted 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup mayonnaise and it was lovely. It also called for 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, which I added. But the next time I will leave it out.

This salad was a HUGE hit at our dinner table, even Bridget chowed down on it (minus the lettuce, it makes her barf. Long, gross story, trust me.)  From the original recipe, I cut out the onion and the cheese because I'm not a huge fan. James, who puts yellow cheese on EVERYTHING didn't miss it either.

Salad's are sneaky little buggers. Don't let them lull you into a false sense of security people. If you're going to eat a salad, make sure its a good one and not one that will do more harm than good in the battle against the chub. Happy eating my peeps! As usual, if you try making it, please leave us a comment so I'll know how you liked it.

Skinny BBQ Chicken Salad
Adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Shredded BBQ chicken
2-3 chicken breats
1 1/2 cups Bob's BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Season the front and back of the chicken with salt and pepper. Preheat a pan and add the olive oil. Sear the chicken briefly on each side in a very hot pan (You want a lovely golden crust outside but not cooked all the way through). Preheat your crockpot on high and add the BBQ sauce. Once the chicken is seared, add it to the crockpot, coating the chicken in the sauce. Stir it occasionally and when its done, shred the chicken in the sauce. 

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Add the all the ingredients (except for the milk and the buttermilk) and blend until smooth (I didn't chop the garlic or the cilantro before hand. Instead I used a blender and put it on high). Mix the buttermilk and milk together. Slowly add the milk mixture to the blender until you get the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning accordingly (I added more salt than this called for but start with 1/2 tsp.) Allow the dressing to "rest" in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.

1 heart of Romaine, chopped thinly
3/4 cup of frozen corn
3/4 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup tortilla strips
1 avacado, sliced 
1 tomato, chopped

Combine the salad ingredients (except for the tortilla strips) and combine. Top each salad with 1/2 cup of the cold, shredded chicken, the tortilla strips and the dressing. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! That looks delish. I'll have to try it out on my hooligans and like Midge, salad+Brenner= barf. Too bad!