the review: salad with grilled chicken and cilantro-lime dressing


There is a Mexican restaurant where we live that makes an amazing salad. They deliver it in what would function as a serving bowl in my house, but it is actually your own individual bowl. Think Cheesecake Factory portions. Huge. You tell your dining companions that there is no way you could possibly eat the whole thing. But you do. You just can’t stop.

We have been trying to recreate that salad at home for years. It is really all in the dressing and the grilled chicken. Now, you know that I am not a recipe creator. This means that I have tried a lot of cilantro-lime dressing recipes. So far, this recipe from Dancing Carrots is the hands down winner.

For starters, any dressing that is made in the blender is my kind of dressing. No chopping or fussing around. This dressing is both sweet (honey) and spicy (jalapeño). It is creamy but has no dairy (combination of balsamic vinegar and honey, maybe?). My kids literally drown their salad in it. Maybe that isn’t a selling point to you, but I vote for anything that isn’t ranch or ketchup that gets kids to eat vegetables.


As for the salad, we start with chopped romaine and add whatever we have. I usually add corn, black beans, avocado, and green onion. Spanish rice makes a nice addition. Tonight, I forgot about the rice until the last minute, so I cooked some basic white rice substituting a can of Rotel tomatoes for some of the water. Worked in a pinch. If you are feeling saucy, you can add some cheese too. And some crunched up corn chips. Top the salad with grilled chicken and/or grilled zucchini (toss both with a little olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling) and you have a winner.

This is an easy supper with lots of flavor and texture. Despite the moaning and complaining that comes with telling kids that tonight’s dinner is salad, I bet they will eat it. Mine had seconds.