Monday, June 1, 2015

BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad

Salad is what I've been craving lately... possibly due to the realization that swimsuit season is creeping up. (And I'm trying to lose a few pounds before the wedding lol.) My favorite type of salad is a good chopped salad. I like that everything is fairly bite sized and doesn't require me to cut through the greens before eating. That said, I've enjoyed mixing up salads with whatever I have on hand. Even leftovers get a remake with a bit of greens and a dressing! This BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad had the intention of using leftover BBQ pork... however the leftovers I thought I had were eaten before they made it into the salad. Regardless, a tangy dressing of ranch and BBQ, tossed with some greens were tasty and I highly recommend this for upcoming summer picnic potlucks!



The dressing for this salad is definitely the star. It's a simple combination of homemade ranch dressing with your choice of either store bought or homemade BBQ sauce. It has a nice creamy kick with a bit of tang, depending on the BBQ sauce you use. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce is a favorite of ours but any one will do. The dressing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

The salad itself has the usual suspects found in a southwestern style salad - iceberg and romaine lettuce, sliced red onions, carrots, corn, cheddar cheese... and crushed corn chips! Instead of croutons, I liked the flavor and texture the crushed corn chips bring. 

Now had I had the leftover BBQ pork as initially planned, I would have served it on top of the tossed salad. You can also use BBQ chicken or BBQ beef, but even on it's own, it's delicious and makes for either a good side dish or entree salad!

BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad
dressing recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Dressing:
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce (or homemade BBQ sauce) 
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Salad:

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, sliced into bite sized pieces

1/2 head of romaine lettuce, sliced into bite sized pieces
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 thinly sliced green onions (green part only)
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
1/2 cup crushed corn chips


Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.


Place salad ingredients in salad serving bowl, tossing to combine. 

Add 1/2 cup of dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.