When it's warm outside it seems like the last thing you want is something heavy to eat. And who wants to heat up the kitchen??? Not me.
Here is a really easy but delicious salad that can be easily altered. The only limitation is your imagination.
This is a remake of a salad I often ordered at a restaurant we frequented when we lived in Minnesota. I don't know if it's what you would consider a regional item, but I don't really see it on menus in California so I just have to make my own.
Luckily, it's really easy and a super quick fix for a last minute dinner.
I've mentioned before I like to keep a lot of different things on hand so when I'm ready to make a recipe or don't feel like thinking about dinner until the last minute I can still easily pull something together without having to make a trip to the store.
I buy a bag of these Buffalo Chicken Bites at Costco and keep them in my freezer.
They are what you might consider a "guilty pleasure". I figure if they're on a salad it makes it okay, right? They are a little spicy so if you don't like spice or have small kids you might consider replacing them with Popcorn Chicken instead.
I typically have Romaine lettuce in my refrigerator so I'm can easily make a salad.
I like a small chop/shred on my lettuce so I slice them like this and then put it in my salad spinner.
If you don't have a salad spinner yet, you should really get one. This makes cleaning and storing lettuce soooo EASY. I used to wash the leaves individually and wrap them in paper towels and then put in Ziploc bags so they were ready when I was. In the last year or so I've changed my method to cutting up my lettuce, putting in the salad spinner and filling it with water, then dump out the water and SPIN, SPIN, SPIN. Dump all the water out, dry the inside and line with a paper towel to absorb any leftover moisture. Store the lettuce in the spinner until you're ready to assemble your salad and it's nice and crisp. I try to wash the lettuce an hour or more before I know we're going to eat so it can get good and chilled and crisp.
Now comes the part where you can personalize this salad to fit what your family likes or what you happen to have in the kitchen.
I rinsed and drained a can of black beans, halved some cherry tomatoes and thawed and drained some frozen corn.
If I happen to have a cucumber I'll add that too.
I also had an avocado in the fridge so I cubed it and added it in.
Did you know you can store a ripe avocado in the refrigerator for at least a week and it will be okay? I frequently buy a couple when I'm at the store that are really hard and let them sit out for a few days until they are ripe and then just pop them in the fridge. The last amazingly well and are ready to be used when you need them.
These Bolthouse Farms dressings are my new favorites. They come in quite a few varieties and are a great option for a lighter dressing. The Salsa Ranch and Blue Cheese are both great choices for this particular salad.
(Just FYI...the Caesar in this brand is great too.)
All that's left to do at this point is assemble your salad. You can do it on individual plates or make in a large salad bowl and serve from that.
I added cheddar cheese on this salad, but sometimes I'll use blue cheese. It depends on my mood and what I have on hand.
What's your favorite salad? Do you have an easy go to when you need a quick dinner? Feel free to share in the comments below.