While I'm not sad to be moving on and into July, I'm not about to move on past this salad; it has been part of my weekly routine for the past few weeks, and it is so good.
I've made it a little different every time, but I keep the "essentials" the same every time. This is another "guideline" versus a real recipe, but it's the best--not to mention the easiest--dinner. And even with that small amount of "bad-for-you" bacon, you're still getting plenty of protein and veggies!
- thick cut bacon
Oscar Meyer Thick Cut bacon is my personal favorite.
- salad greens
I've been using a bag of the Dole Leafy Romaine mix and dividing it between two salads.
- chopped avocado
Estimate that you will use about one avocado per two salads.
- chopped tomato
Any type of tomato will do here. You probably need one tomato for every two salads, depending on the size.
- grated cheeseI've used Parmesan, mozzarella, and queso fresco.
- ranch dressing
I use Hidden Valley.
- hard-boiled eggs, peeled & chopped
- chicken thighs (instructions below)
- grilled corn, cut from the cob (instructions below)
- mini quesadilla bites (instructions below)
to prep your bacon:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Layer desired amount of bacon onto the baking sheet (for two salads, I usually make about a half pound of bacon). Place tray in oven and then turn oven on to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon looks crispy. Drain bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble when the bacon has cooled enough.
to cook your chicken thighs:
Cut any fat off the chicken thighs. Season both sides of all thighs generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add a generous amount of olive oil. Cook chicken until no longer pink on the inside, flipping regularly.
to make grilled corn:
You'll need approximately one to two ears of corn per two salads. Start by removing the husks and silk from each ear of corn. Lightly oil each ear with a little canola oil. Grill over medium to high heat, turning every few minutes, until you get a light char on parts of each ear. Remove from the grill, let cool, and cut kernels off the cob.
to make the mini quesadilla bites:
In between two small tortillas, spread a generous amount of cheese (Colby Jack works well). Heat a small amount of butter in a skillet and fry up your quesadilla, flipping at least once. When the outside is a little crispy and the cheese on the inside is all melty, remove from skillet. When cool enough, slice into wedges and top salad.
to make your dressing:
In a small bowl, add a generous amount of ranch dressing (probably a little more than 3 tablespoons per two salads). Squirt in a generous amount of Sriracha and stir to combine. Taste and continue to add Sriracha until your dressing reaches the perfect Sriracha-Ranch balance.
to assemble your salad:
Divide the bag of Dole salad mix between two plates. Layer each salad generously with the avocado, crumbled bacon, cheese, tomato, and any other fixings. Drizzle the Sriracha-Ranch dressing over each salad and serve.