One of my favorite ways to incorporate salads into our menu is under the influence of Mexican Monday. Typically salads are just plain boring, but with big flavors in Mexican cuisine, no salad is ever boring. And creamy dressings are my favorite. This dressing gets a kick from the chipotle pepper in adobo, but is mellowed out by the sour cream and cilantro.
This salad makes for a great lunch or quick dinner – and can be assembled even more quickly if you have left over cooked chicken or stop at the store and pick up a rotisserie chicken from the deli. With black beans in the salad, you could even omit the chicken if desired for a Meatless Monday too.
For a little crunch in your salad, topped with crushed up tortilla chips or the tortilla strips salad topping from the store (they’re typically next to the packaged croutons).
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Ingredients for dressing:
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo*
- 1/3 C packed fresh cilantro
- 2/3 C sour cream
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- juice of 1 1/2 limes
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
*for a milder dressing remove seeds from pepper, for a spicier dressing include some of the adobo sauce
Ingredients for salad:
- 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 head of lettuce, chopped
- grape tomatoes, halved
- red onion, thinly sliced
- canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- canned corn, drained and rinsed
- avocado, diced
- red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Season chicken with S+P. In a non-stick skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil.
- Place dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- In a large bowl combine salad ingredients with cooked chicken. (Note: I didn’t specify amounts for the salad ingredients, use any or all to create your perfect salad!)
- Toss salad with as much dressing as desired.
*This recipe is adapted from David at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chipotle-chicken-taco-salad-10000001215905/*
Tonight’s story comes from the Book of Numbers. In it, Balaam’s donkey is given the gift of speech to inform him of an an angel along their path. Three times in the story does the donkey obey the angel and stop, and three times Balaam beats the donkey; it is then that God “opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me on these three occasions?'” (Numbers 22:28) God then opens Balaam’s eyes so that he can also see the angel in the road.
The biggest question out of this story is why could the donkey feel the presence of the angel while the sorcerer could not?
It is a question that, reworded, can be applied to your faith. Do I feel the presence of God? Am I obeying Him? This story shows that it isn’t only the powerful who are aware of the Lord. It is a reminder to keep your heart open to His touch.
In Eating the Bible, Rena made Three-Bean Burritos to accompany this story. Using three types of beans signifies the three attempts the donkey made to make Balsaam aware of the angel. And because burro means donkey in Spanish, she thought that burritos would be a good meal choice. I decided to detour from her recipe and create Thee-Bean Nachos instead. (I had a craving for Moe’s nachos…) So for us this week, Mexican Monday happened on Wednesday!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 C canned light red kidney beans, drained (liquid reserved)
- 1/2 C canned pinto beans, drained (liquid reserved)
- 1/2 C canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- tortilla chips
- 1 C shredded cheese
- toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, diced red onion, sour cream, queso, etc
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a nonstick skillet saute onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once onion is translucent reduce heat to low and add the beans. Gently mash the beans with some of the reserved liquid until you reach a desired consistency. (I opted to keep it pretty chunky)
- Place a layer of nachos on an oven proof dish (i.e.: baking sheet, casserole dish, cast iron skillet) top with bean mixture and shredded cheese. Place in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.
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