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Tropical BBQ Chicken Salad

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Last week Texas got a taste of fall comfort- the cooler (80 degree) weather over the course of about 4 days made for perfect patio seating on a Friday night.  Too bad it was short-lived.. the next day we were busting 90 degrees by 8 o’clock in the morning.  How rude.  Seventy days of 100+ degree heat- I’m totally over it already.  Alas.. yesterday brought cooler winds and a high of just 81 degrees.  Please let this be the start of something glorious.  While it was a bit cooler last week I was meal planning for this week and decided it was time for a easy weeknight meal solution- my crock*pot.  Assuming it was the end of the hot weather- I thought a homestyle slow-cooker meal would be delicious.  I have blogged numerous times about my relationship with my crock*pot.  She never fails me.  Besides, on a busy evening having dinner ready when I walk in the door makes for a much smoother transition than trying to develop something elaborate and delicious.  Mostly associated with it’s use during the cooler months- bring it on- the crock*pot can still be utilized during warmer weather, too.  I will say I am partial to use it more September-February than I am during the summer time.  I still use my slow cooker throughout the entire year- but I just use what is going in there in a different way.  For example.. this meal is perfect not only on this end of summer (if I say it enough, it will eventually hurry up and be here) salad, but when it is a tad bit cooler out, layer the chicken over a warm baked potato, or creamy pumpkin polenta.  Oh.. better yet.. butternut squash polenta.  Total comfort.
(Warning.. a hint of rambling is about to happen in 3..2..1..) 

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I’m ready for the fall weather SO incredibly bad.  I have a slight love affair with fall vegetables and cannot wait for them to be at their peak.  My fireman pointed at the cover of one of my latest foodie magazines- fresh out-tha mailbox- boasting a beautiful butternut squash, ‘I can’t wait for those to start making it into our dinner meals..‘ too, my sweet husband.  Me. Too. 

Southwest Salad
with Tropical BBQ Chicken

4-5 (4ounce) chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups bottle barbecue sauce of choice (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
The juice of one lime
4 cups Mixed Greens
1 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
2 green onions, diced white and light green parts only
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (15 ounce can) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce can) whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped avocado
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed

For the chicken; layer breasts in the bottom of your crock*pot.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl, make sure sugar dissolves.  Pour over chicken breast.  Set on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Removed chicken from pot and shred.  Reserve.

For the dressing; combine all ingredients in a food processor or whisk together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

To build the salad, combine the lettuce, tomato, red and green onions, cheese, black beans, corn, and cilantro to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the vinagrette and give it a good toss- making sure all the greens are dressed. Portion out about 2 cups salad to each of 6 bowls.  Sprinkle the diced avocado evenly over the bowls, about 1 tablespoon each.  Top with about 3/4 cups shredded chicken (about 3 ounces) and drizzle 1 tablespoon extra BBQ sauce. End with about 1/3 cup crushed tortilla chips on top for some crunch!

Nutrition Information
Serves 6
Calories: 420
Fat: 12.8 g
Carbohydrate: 49 g
Fiber: 13 g
Protein: 28.7 g


  1. This looks wonderful. This is my first visit to blog, so I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes your share with your readers and I'll be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  2. Hey Amber! I love your blog and love getting yummy recipes from your site! Here's a question for you…when I buy ground beef to use in spaghetti sauce or tacos, I typically buy ground sirloin which is like 90/10. Sometimes I'll buy "lean ground beef" which is 93/7. What is the difference between ground sirloin and ground beef? Is gb a general mix-up of the cow where you're getting all parts (gross)? Is sirloin better because it comes from just one part of the cow? Just curious, I'm always thrown off by this!
    My email is and my blog is Thanks!!

  3. This looks delicious! And oh my goodness, I can't believe how warm it is there… well, warm in comparison to our already 60 degree days here in Michigan. Although I'm a huge fan of fall too and I love this time of year. Yes, even the slightly chilled air! :)

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