Friday, May 25, 2018

Chicken Fiesta Salad and Using Leftovers

I often have a problem when it comes to my husband's grilling, and it has nothing to do with his abilities.

Even as a not-so-lover of meat for the most part I can appreciate his skills at the grill, from smokey, moist, cut-it-with-a-fork pork loin to salmon and veggies for me and pretty much anything else you throw his way- he's up for the challenge.

The problem is he's a little too eager sometimes.  While he and our daughter are the only two in our house that can eat their weight in steak he has a tendency to cook for an army and the end result is that I find myself staring down a daunting amount of leftovers in the fridge.

Second problem?
Neither one of them is terribly keen on leftovers, and I'm not fond of wasting food.

I wind up freezing a lot of it, which can definitely come in handy on a busy night.  It's lovely to be able to grab a freezer bag of smoke-filled pulled pork out of the freezer at a moment's notice!

The other day I decided to make a recipe for Chicken Fiesta Salad- a recipe which happened to call for two chicken breasts.

You guessed it- I had two flavorful, grilled chicken breasts I'd tucked away in the freezer after our Mother's Day meal!  It seemed like the perfect way to make a quick and easy meal even better.
I love a good salad- they can be both light and filling at the same time and they're perfect for a warm evening when you just don't feel like cooking at all.

This salad is super simple and- better yet- I already had everything I needed to make it!

The salad starts, unsurprisingly, with a simple bed of salad greens.  Canned corn, black beans, and salsa are sautéed with a little fajita seasoning and then added to the lettuce along with sliced, seasoned chicken, onion, and tomato.  That's it.

I really loved this salad as is, but I think I may have enjoyed the leftovers even more when the toppings were all cold.  Delicious!  I especially like how easily adaptable this would be if you have extra ingredients laying around.  It's hard to think of an item that wouldn't be good on this dish- pork or beef instead of chicken, avocado, black olives, or Spanish rice added on top?  It all sounds great!

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (1.27 ounce) packet dry fajita seasoning, divided (or make your own- it's easy!)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 oz) can Mexican-style corn
1/2 C salsa
1 (10 oz) package mixed salad greens
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, cut into wedges

1. Rub chicken evenly with 1/2 the fajita seasoning. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear; set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, mix beans, corn, salsa and other 1/2 of fajita seasoning. Heat over medium heat until warm.

3. Prepare the salad by tossing the greens, onion and tomato. Top salad with chicken and dress with the bean and corn mixture.

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