Whip It Up Week 4: Spicy and Scrumptious Salad

(Is “scrumptious” a word you can use with something like salad? It seems to apply more to baked goods, am I right? Regardless, it makes for good alliteration, so it stays. I hope we can all live with that.)

This week’s Whip It Up theme is vegetarian, which immediately made Tim and me think “Salad!” And then we went and made a non-vegetarian salad. Um . . . oops?

This, my friends, is a Chicken Fiesta Salad. And it is delicious. Here is the original recipe, if you are interested. I followed it pretty exactly, except I left the onions out and used romaine lettuce rather than some ambiguous, sure-to-be-filled-with-iceberg-nastiness “mixed greens” because I like my lettuce to be really green and leafy. I also improvised a little spicy ranch dressing because it felt like the right thing to do. (I’d give you a recipe for the ranch, except the process went something like this: Pour ranch in bowl; stir in hot sauce, chili powder, paprika; taste, decide it still tastes like regular ranch; add hot sauce of a different variety, along with some random mexican spices laying around in the cabinet; taste, decide it’s getting better, but not quite there; add a little garlic salt and a squeeze of lime juice; taste, decide it’s still pretty mild but good enough.)

Was the recipe easy to follow? Easy-peasy. It all came together really simply and quickly, and with minimal dishes and mess. I forgot to save half the fajita seasoning to stir into the corn/beans/salsa mix, but I made up for that with a dash or two of some spices from the cabinet and everything turned out fine in the end. Honestly, depending on the flavor/spice-level of your salsa, it’s probably not too imperative to add fajita seasoning to anything besides the chicken.

Did it taste good? Oh, so good! It was pretty spicy, but I think that had a lot to do with the salsa we used. It would be easy to make this mild if you wanted to. I only drizzled a tiny bit of ranch over my serving, and it was just right as a cool compliment to all the spicy flavors. My only complaint has nothing to do with taste and everything to do with what a clumsy eater I am: I had a hard time getting a fork-full of corn/beans/salsa then successfully keeping it on my fork as I stabbed lettuce and chicken. But it all tasted great anyway, so I won’t hold my clumsy eating skills against the recipe, and neither should you.

Will I make it again? I definitely will. It was really easy to throw together from stuff that we usually have on hand, so it makes for a great quick and fresh meal on a hot summer evening. And Tim is a huge fan of salad, so I know I’ll hear no complaints from him when this dish makes repeat appearances.

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