Blast from the past alert!

Now that our blog readers are no longer just some of our college roommates and aunts who read our blog out of obligation, from time to time, we want to re-post some of our favorite recipes from the past that our newer readers may never have discovered otherwise.
This is another Cooking Light superstar, with my own modifications. I love serving it at parties because a) it’s pretty much a guaranteed hit, b) it’s a cinch to prepare, especially if you use pre-grilled chicken and pre-washed, pre-chopped lettuce, and c) the dressing is low-fat and it is awesome. To. Die. For.
I love the flavor of chipotle, but it is hot! Chipotle (which is pronounced chip-OAT-lay, just in case you’re wondering; I say that only because I have a former boss who would call people named José “Josie”) chilies are basically smoke-dried jalapenos. And here in the U.S., you’ll almost always find them in the Mexican food section, canned in adobo sauce. Now, if I weren’t such a pansy, I’d probably like the chilies themselves better, but alas, I AM a pansy, so what I’m after is the sauce. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still plenty spicy, just not burn-your-tongue/mouth/esophagus, let’s-induce-gastrointestinal-distress-spicy. The recipe I got this from actually had you chopping whole chilies into the dressing and suffice it to say that that was a teeny, tiny bit too spicy for my taste. If you do decide that you have tastebuds of steel, I recommend approaching using whole chilies the way you would jalapenos, especially since the adobo sauce has the tendency to stain your hands a lovely burnt sienna. I spent the afternoon coloring, can you tell?
Anyway, I’ve yammered on enough. Let’s do it to it.

For the salad: 

and the dressing:

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad


4 c. chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 c. chopped grilled chicken (you could use Taco Chicken if you want)
1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, washed
1/3 c. vertically-sliced red onions
1 avocado, cubed
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 3/4 oz. can corn, rinsed and drained

1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 c. light sour cream
1 1/2 + tsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies
1 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. salt

Tortilla Strips

Make sure all salad ingredients that need to be washed or rinsed have been. I rinse the beans and corn together; no reason not to! Heck, throw the tomatoes in while you’re at it if you want!

Combine lettuce, chicken, beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl and gently mix with your hands (which you have obviously and thoroughly washed, of course! :) ). Set aside.

oops, totally forgot the red onions in this picture…

Mix dressing ingredients. I say to start with 1 1/2 tsp. of adobo sauce and then go from there, probably 1/4-1/2 tsp. at a time. If you’re serving this for a crowd, it’s probably better to err on the side of not spicy enough rather than too spicy, but if you’re just making it for your family and you have taste buds of steel, have at it. You could even chop up one of the chilies and toss it in there if you’re feeling super-brave. Then taste the dressing and you’ll know what heaven tastes like. Set dressing aside.

If you’re making tortilla strips, fry those puppies up now. I didn’t make them here because I’m trying my darndest not to be naughty nutritionally, but if I make this salad for some kind of festivity, I always make the tortilla strips. Allow them to cool.

When you’re ready to serve, add avocado, tortilla strips, and dressing. Gently combine and serve.

Makes 4-6 meal-sized servings and 6-8 side-dish or party-sized servings.



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