Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inspired Cooking: Barbeque Grilled Chicken Salad

I don't know about you, but I think Thursdays are the toughest nights to motivate myself (or my husband) to cook. Walking in the door around 7 p.m., the last thing I want to do is kick off my heels and decide what's for dinner. It's not actually cooking the meal that's exhausting - - simply figuring out what to cook drains me faster than training for a marathon. And the "what" is usually determined by how fast (and easily) can it be done - - - hmmmm.... frozen pizza? Spaghetti with jar sauce? Cereal?

Not that we don't like pizza, spaghetti or cereal, but we've often found throwing a salad together is the healthiest - - and most satisfying - - choice. We team up: I chop and slice veggies, my husband grills/cooks/sautes the protein. 20-25 minutes later, dinner is on the table. Of course, the salad changes every time because it's dependent on whatever we have in the fridge. The grilled barbeque chicken salad below is one of our favorites!

On another note, we were (pleasantly?) surprised to see that shiitake mushrooms were featured as the "power food" for the latest addition of Body + Soul. It's funny because our last two entree recipes featured shitake mushrooms as key ingredients! According to the magazine, these mushrooms are high in fiber protein, as well as contain potassium and zinc. Apparently, shiitakes can help boost your immune system if you're fighting an infection or staving off a cold. Who'd have thought? If you haven't checked out the magazine, you should definitely take a look at their online website.

We especially liked's advice for breaking out of a food rut (and the recommendation seems timely given that Thursday is often too-tired-to-cook night!):

You don't have to be a trained gourmand to turn average, boring meals into inspiring creations. Just ask Sally Schneider, author of the "The Improvisational Cook." Her suggestion: "Tackle a few base recipes that lend themselves to many other things. For example, you can transform slow-roasted tomatoes into sauce, soup, jam, or a condiment." If you want to have a little more fun in the kitchen, don't be afraid to make a few mistakes. Plan an experimental night to take an easy recipe that your family already loves and change only one or two ingredients. When things go awry -- and they will --chalk it all up to the learning process. After all, Schneider says, there's always tomorrow night.

Guess we'll have to check out The Improvisational Chef! Here's to many more inspiring creations...

Grilled Barbeque Chicken Salad

Preheat your grill.

Lightly glaze all sides of 2 chicken breasts with honey barbeque sauce, Indian barbeque seasoning (if you have it!), pepper, worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In large bowl, combine lettuce, diced celery, diced carrots, cooked corn, diced onion, shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, sliced tomatoes and coarsely chopped cilantro. Set aside.

In small bowl, combine honey barbeque sauce and light ranch dressing. Stir.

Grill chicken. Once done, slice into strips and place atop salad greens. Serve dressing on the side.



outdoorgriller said...

Those are some great ingredients I use them all the time except for the Indian barbecue seasoning.I have different asian, mexican and traitional recipes and tips at

Inspired Kara said...

Be still my growling stomach. I am SOOO glad I just stumbled upon this. BBQ chicken salad is one of my favs. FAVS.

woo hoo!!!

Funky Finds said...

this sounds yummy! will have to try soon. thanks, jessica