We eat a lot of salads in our house. I know that sounds strange with a house full of boys, but they all really love salad. I should probably mention that they love steak salad the best (that is another entry to come), but they will eat almost any salad that I put in front of them.
Salads are easy and normally do not take any time at all. And, if you think about it before the monsters get home from school and start demanding everything from a snack to needing graph paper to help with a salt map to driving them to basketball, you can make this salad ahead of time. Just keep in the fridge and leave the dressing off until ready to serve.
Of course, my boys drown their bowls in ranch dressing, but hey, whatever gets them to eat all the veggies I put in this salad, right? My philosophy has always been to let them put as much cheese or dressing on salads/veggies and as they get older start backing off on the dressing. I think my 14 year old can now actually taste the different flavors of asparagus and zucchini. Progress in my book!
BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons BBQ rub
3 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob or 1/2 can, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
1 cup jicama, diced
1 cup ranch dressing (my recipe is in archives)
1 cup crispy onion straws (can be bought in produce section)
Season chicken with your favorite BBQ rub (we like Stubbs). Grill or saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes a side. During the last couple of minutes brush about a cup of BBQ sauce over the chicken. Remove from heat and let rest.
In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, beans, avocado and jicama. Toss in cooled chicken that has been cut into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with ranch dressing and toss well.
Place equal amounts of salad into bowls. Top with a drizzle of remaining BBQ sauce and onion straws.
* If you are making this in advance do not toss with dressing or BBQ sauce and do not cut up avocados until the last minute to prevent them from turning brown.