Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mexican Salad - fast and slow

So it's been a busy couple of weeks, and when I have a lot of stuff to do in the evenings, my first instinct is usually to grab fast food or takeout. When I lived in Virginia, the fast meal of choice was often Cafe Rio -- a west coast-based quick mexican chain. Their chicken salad is out of this world - a fresh flour tortilla, baked with cheese and filled with beans, cilantro lime rice, shredded chicken, romaine, pico, guacamole, tortilla strips, cotija cheese and tomatillo ranch dressing.

Since I'm now 500 miles away from this bowl of absolute deliciousness (and Willy's salads, while good, aren't quite the same), I've perfected a way to make my own version that is easy to make, reheats well in the microwave and can be somewhat healthy (if you skip the cheese and rice). The shredded chicken is super-simple in the crock pot, and is great for burritos, enchiladas, or anything mexican-inspired.

Cafe Rio Copycat Chicken

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup fat-free zesty italian dressing
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 small can diced green chiles
1 tsp chipotle hot sauce or chipotle powder (or to taste)

Place chicken breasts and chiles in slow cooker Whisk spices into dressing and pour over chicken. Toss to coat. Cook 4-6 hours. About an hour to a half-hour before serving, shred chicken in the pot with two forks and continue to cook.

Added bonus - you can re-create the tomatillo ranch by chopping up and blending two tomatillos and a fresh jalapeƱo pepper into a bottle of fat-free ranch dressing!


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