Monday, February 4, 2008

Southwestern Chipotle Salad

Months ago I had bought some canned chipotle peppers, hoping they would inspire some sort of Mexican or southwestern dish. Well…they finally got their chance to shine! Matt and I had fallen off the healthy eating bandwagon lately, and needed to get back on FAST! So, I had planned a number of salads and other lighter meals for the week. I sort of wandered around the grocery store aimlessly, throwing in whatever items caught my attention. I came home with banana peppers, corn, black beans, an orange bell pepper, lettuce, a red onion, mushrooms, and scallions. I decided pretty quickly that I was going to create a salad.

I started by pureeing the chipotle peppers in a food processor, dumping in much of the juice as well. I also added a glove of garlic, fresh cracked pepper, salt, cumin and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Once smooth, I poured over 2 chicken breasts and let marinate for 2 hours or so.

I cooked the chicken on my grill pan, and while grilling, got to work on my salad. I prepared the mushrooms, peppers, cucumber, onion, tomato, and scallions. I heated the frozen corn and set aside. I also heated a can of black beans. I created a bed of lettuce on the dinner plates and covered with all of the other veggies. I then sliced the grilled chicken and placed on the salad. I sprinkled the corn and black beans over the salads, and topped with freshly grated light Monterey jack cheese.

Over the salad I drizzled Trader Joe’s low fat Parmesan Ranch dressing, which I mixed with a pinch of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat. I finished off the salad with Trader Joe’s Southwest Style Gourmet Flatbread.

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